More than a decade after he was dismissed as a cadet of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Duterte Youth chairman Ronald Cardema is now an adviser to the institution that once dismissed him from its ranks.
Photos from the recent PMA graduation showed Cardema posing among the academy's board of advisers (BOA).
This was confirmed to Rappler by PMA spokesman Major Rey Afan, who said BOA members were nominated by the PMA "depending on who may represent a particular sector that the PMA strategic plan espouses."
In Cardema's case, Afan said, he was selected due to his position as then-National Youth Commission chairperson. Afan said the BOA was activated in April 2019.
"Cardema is a member of the PMA BOA. He was selected as the youth representative due to his position as the chair of the National Youth Commission," Afan said.
Cardema, however, 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 that, with this recent development, the PMA will "look into" Cardema's membership. But until the issue is decided, Cardema will remain a member of the BOA.
BOA members serve a term of two years.
Cardema has been criticized for his aggressive campaign against leftist youth groups when he was the NYC chair. He is once again caught in controversy due to his last-minute bid to substitute as Duterte Youth nominee, a move that election lawyers and watchdogs are protesting.
Cardema was dismissed from the PMA after officials supposedly accused him of communicating with communist leader Joma Sison.
Sison earlier said Cardema himself was a victim of red-tagging because he called for justice for his uncle, who had been murdered by a military death squad. – Rappler.com