Aga stays in the game, gets TRO

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2013 05:49 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2013 04:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals 12th Division has issued a 60-day temporary restraining order against the Camarines Sur regional trial court's exclusions of actor Aga Muhlach and his wife, Charlene, from the voters' list.

The appellate court required the two to post a P200,000 bond.

Muhlach, who is running for congressman of Camarines Sur's 4th district, has to be a qualified voter so his certificate of candidacy would not be cancelled. The actor will be running against Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella, a scion of the powerful Fuentebella clan.

Judge Noel Paulite of the San Jose, Camarines Sur RTC earlier ordered the names of Muhlach and his wife be stricken off the list of voters in Barangay San Juan, San Jose, Camarines Sur, after they failed to comply with the six-month residency requirement for registered voters.

The Muhlachs later asked the CA to prevent the RTC from implementing its order.They said the RTC's decision was premature since their 6-month period of residency before the May 13, 2013 election should have only started November 14, 2012.

The Muhlachs filed their application for registration as voters of San Jose, Camarines Sur on March 19, 2012.

Urgency, timeliness

The CA granted Aga's appeal because of urgency and timeliness and because the right to vote cannot be disenfranchised for flimsy reasons.

The court noted Muhlach risks disqualification by the Comelec if the RTC's order to exclude is not restrained.

Muhlach is facing a disqualification case before the Comelec over his alleged Spanish citizenship on top of the case for exclusion against him.

The CA noted the implementation of the exclusion by the RTC was premature since there is no date on the entry of judgment on the matter.

The private respondents argued that RTC rulings on exclusion cases are final and immediately executory.