CA allows Aga Muhlach to run for CamSur congressman-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
MANILA -- Actor Aga Muhlach can finally participate in the 2013 elections as Liberal Party’s bet for representative in the fourth district of Camarines Sur after the Court of Appeals said he and wife Charlene Gonzales are registered voters of the province.
"The Muhlachs have been residing in San Jose as of February 17, 2012 then it is as clear as the sunlight that they have more than complied with the six-month residency before the May 13, 2013 elections, or a period of one year and three months from February 17, 2012 to May 13, 2013," stated the decision of the Court of Appeals 12th division.
The decision penned by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso reversed the rulings of Judge Noel Paulite of San Jose Regional Trial Court branch 30 and Judge Ricky Begino of San Jose, Presentacion, Camarines Sur.
As a result, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been required to include the name of the Muhlachs in the voters list and annotate them on the voters' registration record.
"A citizen cannot be disenfranchised for the flimsiest of reasons. Only on the most serious grounds, and upon clear and convincing proof, may a citizen be deemed to have forfeited this precious heritage of freedom," the CA said.
On January 3, Muhlachs' lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the San Jose RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it said last December 17 that the couple should be delisted from the voters’ list for failing to establish residency.
Records show that the Muhlachs filed their application for registration as voters of San Jose on March 19, 2012. The town's Election Registration Board approved their registration on September 28, 2012.
Days later, a petition for their exclusion was filed by some registered voters of San Jose alleging their alleged non-compliance with the period of residency required of a voter. On October 25, 2012, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of San Jose reversed the decision of the ERB.
The Muhlachs appealed the MCTC decision to the RTC, but this was rejected last December, prompting them to elevate the case before the CA. The appellate court then issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) last January 15 after a hearing.
Muhlach is running against Wimpy Fuentebella, whose family is in politics for 105 years. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)