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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Rowena Guanzon is planning to sue disqualified Duterte Youth first nominee Ronald Cardema for multiple counts of libel in various courts across the country after accusing her of extorting money.

In an ambush interview in the House of Representatives, Guanzon said she would just let the Yuletide Season to pass before filing multiple libel charges against the Cardema after the former National Youth Commission (NYC) chair’s allegation the she asked for a P2-million bribe in exchange for a favorable decision in his motion to substitute last May 12.

“Ila-libel ko siya sa buong Pilipinas, pero wait lang sya new year para masaya naman Pasko niya. Pero ngayon under oath na yang sinabi nya na corrupt ako kelangan ila-libel ko na siya sa buong Pilipinas, said Guanzon.

Guanzon stressed that she’ll make sure that she will charge Cardema before remote courts across the country, and one of those places she’s thinking now is in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

“Kunwari, saan ba puwedeng mag-surfing? Siargao. Oh, file ng kaso sa Siargao para maka-surfing ako on the side after,” Guanzon told in jest.

Guanzon stressed she was “seriously aggrieved by this libelous statement under oath” following Cardema’s Notice of Withdrawal submitted before the poll body on Monday.

“He should be taught a lesson that he cannot do this to our institution, he cannot do this to a commissioner of elections while his case is pending,” said Guanzon.

Aside from libel, critics said Cardema may be held liable for graft and other criminal charges after admitting she attempted to bribe the Guanzon to secure his nomination through substitution.

Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Cardema only incriminated himself after he claimed that a veteran lady solon allegedly played as his “bagwoman” who deliver a P2-million bribe money to Guanzon in exchange for a favorable vote on the accreditation of Duterte Youth.

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