Aga Muhlach’s residency in CamSur town questionedBy Juan Escandor Jr. |Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY, Philippines—Movie star Aga Muhlach’s registration as a voter in San Jose, Camarines Sur has been opposed before the municipal Election Registration Board (ERB), an official of the Commission on Election in Camarines Sur said.
Alexander Marpuri, spokesperson of Comelec in Camarines Sur, revealed that the registration of Muhlach as a voter of San Jose was questioned by a group of townsfolk when the ERB convened on April 16.
Marpuri said the petitioners against Muhlach led by former town mayor Mel Pacamara and 14 others argued that the movie star could not register as a voter of the town as he was never known to be a resident of San Jose and failed to meet the one-year residency requirement.
Muhlach, who filed his voter’s registration on March 19, had said he considered himself a native as his father, who belonged to the Amador and Borja clans, were from the towns of Goa and San Jose. He said he had been visiting San Jose since he was young to bond with his father’s relatives and has been building a house in the town.
Muhlach’s move was keenly watched by political observers here even as the actor has refused to talk about any political plan. But he appeared to have allied himself with Gov. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, the political rival of Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, who has been serving his last term as representative of Camarines Sur’s fourth district, where the town of San Jose belonged.
Marpuri said all municipal and city election registration boards nationwide were ordered convened starting April 16, 17, 18 and 19 to check the updating of the registration of voters and decide on the approval or disapproval of new voters who registered from January to March 2012.
“In the case of San Jose, when they (ERB) convened, there was an opposition to the application for registration of Aga Muhlach represented by lawyers, though I don’t have details as to who are behind the move against his registration,” he disclosed.
The municipal ERB is composed of the election officer as chairman with the local civil registrar and the supervisor of the Department of Education in the locality as members.
Marpuri said the opposition against Muhlach revolved around the argument that the Muhlachs have no residence in San Jose.
He said the opposition was filed last week, and San Jose Election Officer Imelda Añonuevo invited Muhlach to appear before the ERB on April 16, but “unfortunately,” the movie star was reportedly out of the country at the time.
Marpuri said Muhlach was given until April 19 to give his response but he did not know if the actor had submitted one on Thursday. Añonuevo, who was presiding over the ERB meeting on Thursday, was not available for comment.
Marpuri clarified that even though the national Comelec has set the simultaneous reconvening of the ERBs to decide on new voters’ application from April 16-19, they could continue the processing of new voters’ applications until these were finished.
Any decision made by the ERB on the voter’s application could not be appealed, he stressed.
The legal remedy for the aggrieved party would be to file a petition for inclusion or exclusion on the voters’ list at a municipal circuit trial court. The voter’s petition should be filed not later than Nov. 1, he said.