Duterte fan pages and supporters on Facebook came to the defense of Duterte Youth leader Ronald Cardema after he was confronted by former APO member and activist Jim Paredes at the EDSA anniversary rally on Saturday. These pages and the President’s supporters shared a photo of Cardema hailing him as a “Philippine Marine Corps Commander” while expressing how proud they are of him.
Facebook user Deejeey Nadz shared Cardema’s photo to Duterte fan page “(vf) DDS/Diehard Duterte Supporters” on February 26 and it has since gained 12,000 reactions and almost 1,400 comments.
It was even captioned:
“Mr Jim Paredes ito pala yung binabastos mo kahapon.. isang MARINE CORPS COMMANDER.. ang tapang mo.. Kong yayain ka kaya nito ng suntukan,,, di kaya sasalpok lahat ngipin mo?? Hahahaha.. Magbago kana tanda. PROUD OF YOU SIR.. PHILIPPINE MARINE CORPS COMMANDER…. Ronald Cardema”
It was also shared by other Facebook users and pages, such as Scot North, Bisaya Pa More, and more.
However, Facebook page “Philippines Defense Forces Forum” has debunked that claim about Cardema.
With a hashtag #StolenValor, the Facebook page wrote: “The leader of the Duterte Youth is not a Philippine Marine Corps Commander. He was a PMA cadet who was dismissed for associating with the communists while on a supposed sick leave from Academy.”
The page also posted about the fears of a possibility of Cardema earning a high position in the government, which was replied to by a netizen who expressed his anger at the Duterte supporter.
Another netizen commented on how “no real soldier” would risk showing his partisan colors at a political activity.
One posted about a bit of the background of Cardema’s family relations – an uncle being killed, which drove him to write an open letter. It was from this Bulatlat news report.
The said report also gave a background as to his dismissal. It said that he wrote that open letter and sent it to groups, both Left and Right, and it was circulated online. When he returned to the PMA a few weeks later, he found out he was dismissed for being absent without leave.
Bulatlat also reported that Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, a PMA graduate himself and a former Marine commander, offerd to have Cardema reinstated but he politely refused, opting to lead a civilian life instead.
We have also written about the netizens’ negative reaction to Cardema’s group, the Duterte Youth, for being eerily similar to Hitler Youth.
UP ROTC also denied being represented by the Duterte Youth, seeing as how both organizations were linked with the involvement of Cardema, a former UP ROTC commander.
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