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Aga Muhlach's congressional bid gets green light as CA orders his inclusion on voters' list

Actor Aga Muhlach can finally run for congressman in Camarines Sur in the May 13 elections after the Court of Appeals ruled that he and his wife, former beauty queen Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach, are both registered voters in the province. In a 19-page decision written by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, the CA's 12th Division set aside the respective rulings of the municipal circuit trial court (MCTC) and regional trial court (RTC) of San Jose town that both reversed the Election Registration Board's (ERB) approval of the couple's application for registration as voters of San Jose. "Wherefore, the petition is Granted. The assailed decision dated December 17, 2012 and December 21, 2012 Entry of Judgment of the Regional Trial Court of San Jose Camarines Sur, Branch 30, as well as the Decision dated October 25, 2012 of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of San Jose-Presentation, Camarines Sur are Annulled and Set Aside. The petition for Exclusion is hereby Dismissed for lack of merit," the court division said. As a result, the CA ordered San Jose's ERB to reinstate the Muhlach couple's names on the province's voters' list for the midterm elections in May. The CA also ordered the ERB to "annotate [the Muhlachs' names] on the Voters Registration Record (VRR) of the Office of the Election Officer of San Jose, Camarines Sur, as well as in the computer records of the Office of the Provincial Elections Supervisor of the Office of the Director for Election and Barangay Affairs Department of Camarines Sur." Concurring with the decision were justices Jane Aurora Lantion and Eduardo Peralta Jr. Aga's removal from the voters' list would have imperiled his candidacy for congressman of Camarines Sur's fourth district, as the Constitution requires running district representatives to be a registered voter of the district he or she intends to represent. As a candidate for Congress in Camarines Sur, Aga is going against Felix William "Wimpy" Fuentebella, son of incumbent Rep. Arnulfo Fuentebella and a member of an established political family in the province. Last month, the CA issued a 60-day temporary restraining order, as requested by the Muhlach camp, against the removal of the couple's names on the voters' list. — Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News