RTC junks appeal to exclude Albee from Bacolod voters list

A Regional Trial Court judge has dismissed the appeal to exclude mayoral aspirant Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez from the list of registered voters of Precinct 0629A of Barangay Mandalangan in Bacolod City for lack of merit.

Bacolod RTC Branch 44 Judge Ana Celeste Bernad affirmed the Oct.1, 2021 decision of the Municipal Circuit Court in Cities Branch 4 also dismissing the petition filed by Hector Yula, Teodoro Abao and Jonah Tornea Abao for lack of merit.

The three petitioners earlier identified themselves as allies of Grupo Progreso headed by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, the political opponent of Benitez.

Benitez has satisfactorily met the minimum residency requirement to become a voter of Brgy Mandalangan, Bacolod, Bernad said in her 11-page decision.

Her decision dated February 7 was received by Benitez Friday, February 11.

“The decision by the RTC, based on law, is final and executory and cannot be subject to any motion for reconsideration,” Andrei Norman Saril, lawyer of Benitez, said.

The Bacolod Election Registration Board, MTCC and RTC ruled Benitez has fully complied with requirements on residence since it has been established that by May 9, 2022, he will have been a resident of Brgy. Mandalagan, Bacolod City, for one year and eleven months based on the date he filed his application to transfer his voting records, Saril added.*

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