Comelec dismisses Aga Muhlach disqualification case

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Actor Aga Muhlach. Photo courtesy showbiznest.blogspot.com
Actor Aga Muhlach. Photo courtesy showbiznest.blogspot.com

Actor Aga Muhlach Es Un Filipino, y No Un Ciudadano Español, Declara COMELEC

By Joey Natividad
Special Correspondent

TIGAON, Camarines Sur (BicolToday.com/31-Jan-2013) – Actor Aga Muhlach is a Filipino, and not a Spanish citizen, declares COMELEC.

This is the findings of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Manila as it dismissed on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, the disqualification case filed by petitioner Gilmar Pacamarra questioning Muhlach’s nationality and alledgely submitting “false material of representation.”

Muhlach’s questionable Spanish citizenship and, alledgely, his attempt to omit vital information or submitting false material of representation to portray himself as qualified to file his candidacy are enough grounds for his disqualification as candidate.

Last October 5, 2012, Muhlach filed his candidacy for a Congressional seat in the Fourth District of Camarines Sur.

On the second week of October last year (2012), petitioner Pacamarra filed the disqualification case after discovering that Muhlach had acquired Spanish citizenship, by virtue of a newly enacted Spanish law, Law of Historical Memory (Ley de Historica Memoria), a citizenship status granted to Filipinos who came from Spain. Muhlach’s father, whose origin is Spain, had availed of this privelege, and later the actor applied later for Spanish citizenship. An earlier news report was posted November 18, 2012 in BicolToday.com. See article Senior Aga Muhlach: No Se Filipino y Espanol, Nada Estado?

COMELEC (First Division) Presiding Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, and Commissioners Armando Velasco and Christian Robert Lim heard and reviewed the Pacamarra petition, and found it as “baseless and without merit”, and uphold Muhlach’s status as Filipino citizen, although he had enjoyed the benefits of dual citizenships, the petition cannot prove that Muhlach has relinquished his “Filipino citizenship.”

“Muhlach is a Filipino citizen by birth, born of Filipino parents, and has stayed most of the time in his native country,” declared the COMELEC commissioners in their decision.

A copy of the 7-page COMELEC decision is posted with this news article and can be viewed or downloaded. See COMELEC Decision on Aga Muhlach Disqualification – Nationality.

With the latest COMELEC decision, Muhlach had already scored two straight wins in his bitter, uphill legal battle for his candidacy.

Also, this January, in another case, the Court of Appeals had issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and mandated the Regional Trial Court and the Election Registration Board in San Jose town, Camarines Sur, to reinstate the Muhlachs in the voters list in Precinct 10A, Barangay San Juan. Being a registered voter and resident are important requirements in the filing of candidacy.

Early March last year, the Muhlachs (with wife Charlene Gonzales) had met legal opposition from several San Jose residents over his application as voters in the town after he had aired his desire to run for a Congressional post. The petitions later found their way into the higher courts. [BicolToday.com]

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