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Former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema has given up on his dream to become a congressman under the Duterte administration.

Cardema informed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that he is withdrawing as Duterte Youth’s first nominee amid questions about his eligibility to represent the youth sector.

In a letter dated Sept. 13, Cardema blamed Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon for his decision to shelve his bid to be proclaimed as Duterte Youth’s first nominee.

“[Guanzon] used her office as a Commissioner-Judge to show clear bias and to harass us daily in the media, to slander ad destroy our party’s reputation in the public, to call our more than 350,000 voters as stupid, and to force COMELEC offices & employees to withhold my already-existing Certificate of Proclamation,” he said.

The Comelec first division, of which Guanzon is a member, disqualified the 34-year-old Cardema’s bid to represent Duterte Youth in Congress because he is overage.

Under the law, the representative of the youth sector must not be more than 30 years old.

Cardema made a last-minute substitution to become Duterte Youth’s first nominee ahead of the May midterm polls. He replaced his wife, who met the age requirement for representing the youth sector in Congress.

The former NYC chair said that while he has “strong faith” that the Comelec en banc will reverse the First Division’ decision, he is withdrawing his nomination so the poll body can immediately release the certificate of proclamation to the party’s second next qualified nominee.

“It is my prayer that this personal sacrifice be accepted and proceed now to the immediate release of the Certificate of Proclamation of the succeeding nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list,” he said.

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