Aga Muhlach gets TRO on poll delisting-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
THE Court of Appeals (CA) stopped Tuesday the implementation of a local court decision in Camarines Sur that directed the provincial election registration board to erase Aga Muhlach and wife Charlene Gonzales from the official list of voters for the May polls.
After the oral argument called by the CA 12th division, Associate Justice Vicente Veloso announced that the petition for temporary restraining order (TRO) asked by the Muhlach couple is granted.
The stay order is valid for 60 days as the Muhlachs are required to post a cash bond worth P200,000.
During the hearing, Veloso said the couple was able to establish their right to suffrage.
If the CA ruled otherwise, Muhlach is in danger of being disqualified as candidate for the fourth congressional district of Camarines Sur since he can no longer be classified as resident. He is running under the ruling Liberal Party.
On January 3, Muhlachs’ lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the San Jose Regional Trial Court (RTC) committed grave abuse of discretion when it said last December 17 that the couple failed to establish residency despite fulfilling the constitutionally mandated six months prior to the polls.
The couple said they have been residents of the town since February 17, 2012 or one year and three months before the May 13, 2013 elections.
“The assailed decision dismissing the appeal and granting the petition for exclusion of petitioners as voters of San Jose, Camarines Sur is without substantial basis is arbitrary, capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment equivalent to grave abuse of discretion,” the petition stated.
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.
On October 5, 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. Three weeks later, 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 month, prompting them to elevate the case before the CA. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)