Ruffa follows dad, brother, signs up as voter in Cebu CityBy Tweeny M. Malinao
Cebu Daily News
Amid the rush to beat today’s 3 p.m deadline, late registrants of Cebu City expect yet another visit from the celebrity children of talent manager and congressional candidate Annabelle Rama at the city Commission on Elections (Comelec) office.
This after actress Sharmaine “Ruffa” Gutierrez, eldest of Annabelle’s six children to former actor Eddie Gutierrez, signed up as a voter in the city’s north district at 11 a.m yesterday.
She was the third Gutierrez to register as a voter in barangay Kamputhaw after her father and younger brother John Rex “Elvis” who registered as voters in barangays Busay and Kamputhaw respectively last Monday.
Today her younger brothers Ritchie Paul and Richard Gutierrez are expected to file their application for transfer of voting registration also in barangay Kamputhaw.
In transferring her registration from Makati City to barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City, Ruffa said they are giving their “100 percent” support to their mother Annabelle, who will run against former congressman Raul del Mar.
Cebu Daily News tried but was unable to contact the elder del Mar, who replaced his daughter and incumbent Rep. Rachel del Mar of Cebu City’s north district as candidate for the administration Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) slate.
BO-PK founder and Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district earlier chided Annabelle’s cousin, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, for resorting to “showbiz gimmickry” by fielding Annabelle as Team Rama’s bet.
Annabelle said the transfer of registration of her children would dispell any doubts that she would back out of the congressional race for the city’s north district.
“I’m excited. I’m excited to spend more time here in Cebu. I will observe Holy Week here,” Ruffa said in reference to the length of time she would stay to support her mother’s congressional bid.
The 38-year-old Manila-based celebrity was accompanied by Annabelle, who’s running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) slate along with Mayor Rama and her uncle, barangay San Nicholas captain George Rama.
Annabelle, a Manila-based talent manager, signed up as a voter in barangay Zapatera where she shares an ancestral property with her six siblings including George Rama.
Ruffa’s brother Raymond is registered as a voter abroad. She said having a large family is an advantage when the campaign period comes.
Ruffa said they will work around their campaign schedules.
In doing so, Ruffa said they will spend more time with Cebu City’s north district residents.
“Mag-iikot-ikot kami; mabuti na lang malaki ang pamilya namin (We’ll go around. It’s a good thing we have a large family),” she said.
Ruffa said they will also visit Cebu’s tourist spots.
“We’ll dive in Malapascua. And we’d also like to see the whale sharks in Oslob town. At siymepre para makapiling ang mga Cebuanos (So we can spend time with the Cebuanos),” she said.
Ruffa also revealed that it was her mother’s birthday today but the family celebrated it last April.
“She’s a Halloween baby. But no celebration today, silent muna,” she said.
When asked whether the transfer of registration of the Gutierrez children complied with election laws, Comelec Cebu City north district officer Marchel Sarno said it’s too early to preempt the election board’s ruling on the case.
“What I will tell is the requirements for registration,” he said, citing Comelec resolution 9149. He said voters should be at least 18 years old and a resident of the Philippines for one year.
He or she should also be a resident in the area where he or she would vote six months immediately preceding the election.
“At least six months immediately preceeding on the day of election..they’re qualified,” Sarno said.
“Pwede pa nga karon sila mopuyo. Qualified gihapon sila preceeding the day. Wala man gibutang nga at least 6 months usa sila marehistro (The Gutierrez children can still live in Cebu City starting today. They’re qualified preceding the day. It’s not stated that they need to live here six months before they register),” he added.