MALOLOS CITY—The Court of Appeals has upheld the findings of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan that actor Philip Salvador, who is running for vice governor in this province, is not a registered voter in Barangay Sta. Rosa II, Marilao, Bulacan.
Salvador is the running mate of former governor Josie M. dela Cruz, who is contesting the post of Gov. Willy Sy-Alvarado. He is eyeing the vice gubernatorial post held by fellow actor Daniel Fernando.
Unless Salvador secures a Temporary Restraining Order from the Supreme Court with barely two days left before the May 9 elections, his bid for the vice governor’s post might end up in futility.
Last Feb. 25, RTC Judge Albert Fonacier released a joint resolution on Election Cases Nos. 01-M 2016, 02-M-2016 and 03-M-2016 which reversed the earlier findings of the Municipal Trial Court of Marilao declaring Salvador a registered voter of Precinct NO. 275-D in Brgy. Sta. Rosa II, Marilao.
The RTC judge also ordered the Election Registration Board and the Commission on Elections in Marilao to exclude the name of Phillip Salvador from the list of registered voters prompting the lawyers of Salvador to elevate the case to the Appellate Court.
In its 14-page decision, penned by CA Associate Justice Ramon A. Garcia and concurred by Associate Justices Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the Special 15th Division of the CA said that the court “finds no compelling reason to reverse or modify the Joint Judgement of the court a quo.”
“A reading of the Joint Decision would likewise show that the reasons for the course of action the court a quo had taken were thoroughly and sufficiently discussed. There was no hint of whimsicality. no gross and patent abuse of discretion as would amount to an evasion of positive duty,” the CA said.
“Instead, the Court a quo, in its 20-page decision, had painstakingly and exhaustively show it arrived at its conclusion that petitioner is not a resident of Marilao, Bulacan and thus is not qualified to vote therein,” the CA ruling added.
Salvador, through counsel, filed a petition for review with urgent prayer for Temporary Restraining Order or Status Quo Ante Order and writ of preliminary injunction under Rule 22 of the Revised Rules to reinstate the MTC ruling, dated Jan. 25, declaring Salvador a resident of Marilao.
The CA also pointed out in its decision that “the instant petition for review merits an outright dismissal on the ground that the petitioner availed of the wrong remedy of appeal.
It added that: “As correctly pointed out by respondents, the decision of the court a quo in the instant case is immediately final and executory by express provision of law.”
Six residents of Sta. Rosa 2, Marilao, Bulacan filed petitions for exclusion of voter against Salvador, all of which alleged that he is not a resident and presented documentary evidences that showed that the actor is a resident of Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City.