- Leader of pro-Duterte group spoke out on EDSA celebration incident
- He denied going to EDSA rites to stir up trouble, said they wanted to show support for Duterte
- He also said he did not expect Paredes to act that way, believes he should apologize
MANILA, Philippines – The leader of the youth group that supports President Rodrigo Duterte has spoken up on the confrontation with Jim Paredes during the EDSA rites at the People Power Monument.
Duterte Youth National Chairman Ronald Cardema, in an interview with GMA News, denied he and his peers went to the Monument to stir up trouble and said they just wanted to showcase their support for Duterte.
“We know it was a commemoration of EDSA, 1986,” he said. “But we also know that majority of the people there were not only celebrating EDSA. Many of the people there were anti-Duterte, and some of the leaders there wanted our president ousted from power.”
Cardema added that they too wanted to join in the spirit of EDSA which was about free speech and assembly — which is why he was surprised when Paredes confronted them.
“The spirit of EDSA was free-speech, and what we were saying in our banner, we want to support the president,” he said.
On possibly mending his rift with Paredes, Cardema said the least the singer could do is apologize to his group as two of their members were left traumatized after they were pushed and shouted at.
On his social media account, Paredes defended himself for his behavior; saying Cardema’s group were there to deliberately disrupt the proceedings.
He also posted a picture of Cardema and his fellow members meeting defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and accused them of being pawns for someone’s political agenda.
Reactions to the incident have ranged from criticism over Paredes’s behavior and skepticism over the Duterte Youth’s motives.