Comelec throws out Aga Muhlach’s complaint

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the petition of actor-turned-politician Aga Muhlach to annul the proclamation of his rival, Felix “Wimpy” Fuentebella, as the elected representative of the 4th district of Camarines Sur.

In a resolution dated June 20, the Comelec First Division ruled that since Fuentebella had been proclaimed, the Comelec no longer had jurisdiction over Muhlach’s case. The popular actor was directed to go to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

Muhlach had complained that his rival with a lead of 2,205 votes was proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers even though there were still uncounted votes from precincts in three towns that could have overturned the lead.

In his petition, Muhlach called Fuentebella’s proclamation “illegal” and “invalid,” pointing out the provincial canvassing board had not yet counted the votes from the towns of Tigaon, Siruma and Sagnay.

But the Comelec said it could not grant Muhlach’s request because it was filed a day after Fuentebella was proclaimed.

“The allegation does not establish in what manner the untransmitted results will affect the standing of the respondent,” said the 10-page decision of the First Division presided over by Commissioner Lucenito Tagle.

“It must be emphasized that the commission cannot annul the proclamation of respondent based on a mere sweeping statement, unsubstantiated and unsupported,” it stated.

The Comelec agreed with Fuentebella in his answer to Muhlach’s petition, pointing out that the jurisdiction of such complaints should be with the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal as stated in the Constitution.

Fuentebella was proclaimed the winner by the PBOC on May 16 of the hotly contested fourth district race after garnering 82,834 votes, or 2,205 more than Muhlach’s 80,629 votes.—Jocelyn R. Uy

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