Duterte Youth's Cardema to remain on PMA board of advisers

MANILA, Philippines – Duterte Youth Chairman Ronald Cardema will keep his seat as member of the Philippine Military Academy's (PMA) Board of Advisers (BOA) even if he no longer serves as chair of the National Youth Commission (NYC), PMA Spokesman Major Rey Afan said.

"Mr Cardema shall stay as a BOA member per BOA protocol...the set of rules governing the BOA," Afan told Rappler in a text message Tuesday, June 4. Cardema was earlier selected due to his position as then-NYC chairperson. (READ: Dismissed as PMA cadet, Duterte Youth's Cardema now school's adviser)

Cardema keeps his advisory position at PMA even if he is no longer the youth commission's chair. Malacañang said Cardema had effectively "abandoned" his NYC post when he sought to become Duterte Youth's nominee in the 2019 party-list election.

Afan said, however, that the NYC chairmanship only served as "recognition" he could represent the youth sector.

"Thus even if he vacates his post in the NYC, the theory is he may still represent the sector in his own capacity. The same applies to other members of the BOA who in good faith accepted our invitation," Afan said.

The PMA BOA was activated in April 2019. Members serve a term of two years. 

Cardema was invited to become a member of the PMA's board of advisers more than a decade after he was dismissed from its ranks after officials supposedly accused him of communicating with communist leader Joma Sison.

The Commission on Elections on Tuesday also granted due course to Cardema's last minute petition for substitution as the Duterte Youth party's nominee. (READ: [ANALYSIS] The dangerous Cardema precedent) – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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