Hurdle remains in Aga Mulach’s election bidBy Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY—Movie actor Aga Muhlach may have been certified as a member of President Aquino’s ruling Liberal Party in a bid to challenge the supremacy of the 105-year-old political dynasty of the Fuentebella clan in Camarines Sur, but wait.
“The applications of Aga Muhlach and (wife) Charlene Gonzales as voters of San Jose are not approved yet,” Alexander Marpuri, spokesperson of the Commission on Elections in Camarines Sur, said in an interview on Monday.
Marpuru said his office was still awaiting instructions from Manila on who would be the chair of the election registration board (ERB) in San Jose town that will continue hearing petitions against the application of the couple.
The Comelec main office in Manila assigned Perfecto Llansa, election officer of Garchitorena town, to replace Imelda Añonuevo in San Jose, but three days before he and his members could take up the case, his appointment was recalled, Marpuri said.
The poll body has scheduled to convene the ERB in San Jose on Aug. 20, but they still have to ask its Manila office if the voter’s applications of the Muhlachs will be up for deliberation.
“The ERB will deliberate and approve the voter’s applications for the period April-June 2012 in San Jose, which does not include Aga’s and Charlene’s voter’s applications that covered the period January to March 2012,” Marpuri said.
On April 16, a group of political allies of Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, led by former San Jose Mayor Gil Pacamara and 14 petitioners questioned the residency of the actor before the municipal ERB, saying he failed to meet the six-month residency requirement before he can register as a voter.
But the lawyers for the actor said the couple had been residing in a leased house on Rizal Street in Barangay San Juan, San Jose, since August 2011.
San Jose is one of the 10 towns that comprise the Partido or fourth district of Camarines Sur. The other towns are Caramoan, Garchitorena, Lagonoy, Presentacion, Siruma, Tinambac, Goa, Tigaon and Sañgay.
Since early this year, Muhlach has been going around the Partido area after registering as a voter of San Jose on March 19.
The present-day Fuentebellas, who hold key positions in the district, belong to second and third generations of the clan. They named Jose Fuentebella, one of the forerunners of the Nacionalista Party in Philippine politics, as patriarch.
Jose’s youngest brother, Felix, became congressman for 19 years (1953-1972) and governor (1976-1980). Arnulfo, Felix’s son, entered politics in 1978 as an assemblyman during the Marcos dictatorship, but was defeated in his reelection bid.
In 1992, Arnulfo made a comeback as a congressman and completed three terms. His son, Felix William or “Wimpy,” replaced him for one term from 2001-2004. In 2004, Arnulfo made another comeback in Congress while Wimpy ran and lost to Gov. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte.
Serving his last term as congressman of Partido, Arnulfo is fielding Wimpy again in the congressional race in 2013.
When he was sworn in as an LP member on August 3, Muhlach announced his intention to run against Wimpy.