CA stops ruling excluding Aga Muhlach, wife from voters’ list
MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals stopped the Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court from implementing its December 2012 ruling that directed the Election Registration Board (ERB) to remove actor Aga Muhlach and wife Charlene Gonzales from the area’s list of voters.
After the oral argument, the appeals court 12th division announced that the temporary restraining order shall be in 60 days and required the couple to pay P200,000 bond.
Associate Justice Vicente Veloso said that the restraining order was issued to prevent any “irreparable damage” on the part of the petitioners (Muhlachs) and preserve their rights while their main petition is being resolved.
The appeals court restraining order effectively allows Muhlach to pursue his congressional bid in the area.
Records show that the Muhlachs filed their application for registration as voters of San Jose, Camarines Sur on March 19, 2012. Then, on Sept. 28, 2012, the ERB approved their application for voter’s registration. On Oct. 5, 2012, a petition for their exclusion was filed by some registered voters of San Jose saying they failed to comply with the residency requirement for a voter.
On Oct. 25, 2012 the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of San Jose reversed the decision of the ERB. The Muhlachs appealed the MCTC decision to the RTC which the latter denied on Dec. 17, 2012 and directed the ERB to exclude the Muhlachs to its list of voters.
Petitioners told the appeals court that the petition for their exclusion was premature and precipitately filed because the 6-month period of residency before the May 13, 2013 election will begin on November 14, 2012.
The petition cited the case of Congressman Romeo Jalosjos, Jr., where the Court of Appeals, on June 2, 2010, granted Jalosjos’ appeal reversing the decision of the Pagadian City RTC excluding him from the List of Voters on the
ground that the reckoning 6-month period before the election was yet
to come when the petition for exclusion was precipitately and prematurely filed.
The petition pointed that both the MCTC and RTC admitted that the Muhlachs established their residency in San Jose as early as Feb. 17, 2012 but both courts disqualified them for failure to comply with the 6 month requirement when they filed their registration on March 19, 2012.
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