MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Actor Aga Muhlach may be disqualified from the Camarines Sur Congressional race should his voter registration be rejected with finality by a local court, the Commission on Elections said Friday.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Friday said he received word that a local court had ruled that Muhlach's name be removed from the voters' list. He said the issue of registration is within the jurisdiction of the trial court.
"If the decision of the court becomes final, that he is not a registered voter, we will have to disqualify him as a candidate because one of the qualifications to become a candidate is that he must be a registered voter," he told ANC's Headstart.
Brillantes said the decision of the regional trial court is usually final when it comes to voters registration. However, Muhlach can still go to a higher court for a certiorari.
Unless a restraining order is issued, then the decision is immediately enforceable. Brillantes said the poll body will now determine the final finding of the court.
A Philippine Daily Inquirer report earlier said Judge Noel Paulite ordered that 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.
Muhlach is running for Congress in next year's elections, representing the 4th district of Camarines Sur. He will be running against Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella, a scion of the powerful Fuentebella clan.
Brillantes said all disqualification cases must be resolved before Comelec starts configuring the ballots to be used in the May 2013 polls. He said the final configuration will be done early January 2013.
"Once, we have configured the Camarines Sur proposed balot, it will be very difficult to include the name of Aga Muhlach anymore because the ballots have been configured for printing purposes," he said. With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News