64 Kamagayan ‘residents’ can’t vote in City
CEBU, Philippines — The Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) has ordered the exclusion of 64 registered voters of Barangay Kamagayan in Cebu City.
Judge Monalila Tecson of Branch 1 has directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to exclude these individuals from the list of voters of Barangay Kamagayan for their failure to appear before the court and to adduce evidence to negate the allegations against them.
Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan, one of the legal counsels of Enriquita Crispe, Anita Telen and Gina Umbao, said there were eight cases assigned before the sala of Tecson.
Out of eight cases, 64 individuals were excluded coming from different voting precincts.
In one out of eight cases decided by Tecson, she ordered the exclusion of 12 individuals from voter’s list of precinct No. 0383B of Barangay Kamagayan.
“After careful evaluation and applying the aforequoted laws and jurisprudence on the issue, the court finds for the exclusion of the 12 private respondents in the above-entitled petition, either for their failure to appear in Court and/or for failure to adduce evidence in their behalf,” read the decision.
Crispe and two others alleged that these 12 individuals, who were former Kamagayan residents, are currently registered as voters of Precinct No. 0383B. Their residential houses in Kamagayan were demolished in 2003.
“…private respondents are not residents of Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu City where they are currently registered as voters; the private respondents are currently residents of Purok 6, Barangay Cubacub, Mandaue City for more than 10 years already,” petitioners alleged.
Petitioners said private respondents were transferred to the relocation site of the Cebu City government in Mandaue City with Lot No. 1724-B.
After presentation of evidence, Tecson ruled to exclude the 12 private respondents including those already rendered in default and were adjudged excluded from the list of voters, and those private respondents who appeared during the hearing but failed to adduce evidence to controvert the allegations against them.
“Indeed, the Right to Suffrage is a basic constitutional right sought to be shielded at all times form any attempts to infringe on it or prevent its exercise and to be protected from those whose enterprise is to manipulate the expression of the sovereign will of the electorate by making a mockery of the entire electoral process in transferring voters from one place to another, and skirting the requirements under our Constitution and the law on election,” the decision read.
To be qualified as voter, the law provides that every citizen of the Philippines, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least 18 years of age, who shall have resided for one year in the city or municipality where he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election, may be registered as voter.
Lawyer Floreane Sacares, co-counsel of Ligutan, said as per decision of Tecson, the Comelec is mandated to exclude these 64 individuals from the voter’s list.
“Thus, they can no longer vote in Cebu City,” said Sacares. — KBQ (FREEMAN)