PL Watch



Duterte Youth or Duty to Energize the Republic through the Enlightenment of the Youth was originally formed in 2016 in support of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential bid. Its founder Ronald Cardema was eventually appointed as chairman of the National Youth Commission. In 2019, Duterte Youth ran in the party-list election and won one seat.

The Duterte Youth party-list filed its candidacy with five official nominees. However, all of these nominees withdrew and Ronald Cardema filed for a substitution. However, the COMELEC ruled for Cardema’s disqualification as the party-list’s nominee because he already exceeded the age limit set for nominees of a youth party-list. Cardema tried to argue that his party-list also represents professionals but the COMELEC rejected this, saying that they only made this claim after being questioned on the age limit. Cardema was eventually substituted by his wife Ducielle Cardema. She was the first among the five nominees who withdrew upon Ronald Cardema’s bid for substitution.