Group opposes bids of ex-lawmaker, 220 others to be registered as Bacolod voters
BACOLOD CITY—A group has filed an opposition to the applications of former Rep. Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez and 220 other persons to become registered voters of this city.
Grupo Progreso claimed that Benitez and the other transferees are not residents of the city.
Election Officer Kathrina Trinio Caña has directed Benitez and the 220 others to answer the opposition lodged against their registration applications.
A disqualification of the registration would prevent Benitez from running for mayor of Bacolod in 2022 against incumbent Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who heads Grupo Progreso.
Benitez, who has been requested by some to run for mayor, has yet to confirm if he will go for the post.
Lawyer Marcus Aurelian Vaflor, the counsel of the three complainants against Benitez, said his clients contend that the former congressman is not a resident of Barangay Mandalagan in Bacolod.
“He (Benitez) was not a resident when he applied for his transfer of voter registration here and he is not a resident of Bacolod City as of now. We have a boatload of evidence to prove that he has not lost his former domicile,” Vaflor said during a press conference.
Included in their evidence is that Benitez bought a piece of land in Bacolod three days before he went to the Commission on Elections to apply for the transfer of his voter registration. The property has no water and electricity that indicate that Benitez does not live there, Vaflor said.
Vaflor said other complainants affiliated with Grupo Progreso also filed their opposition against 220 other applicants, saying they did not come from other cities and municipalities and are not residents of Bacolod.
Benitez said he’s confident that the petition filed against him would not prosper as all requirements of the law have been fully complied with.
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