Former Congressman of 3rd District Albee Benitez is now an official voter of Bacolod City after the Election Registration Board (ERB) has dropped the petition questioning his residency in Mt. View Subdivision in Barangay Mandalagan of this city.
In its resolution released yesterday, July 28, the ERB composed of Bacolod Election Officer Kathrina Trinio Caña, Local Civil Registrar Hermilo Pa-oyon and Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Gladys Amylaine Sales finds Benitez to have met the residency requirement based on facts provided by his witnesses.
According to ERB, the claims of the complainants witnesses Su-Ann Bacan and Geronimo Teofisto Estrella that they are residents of Mountain View Subdivision were belied by the witnesses of Benitez. Based on the testimony of Kagawad Paul Anieve of Mandalagan, Bacan is not a resident of Mt. View Subdivision, instead she resides in Porferia Subdivsion, which is an entirely different subdivision that is separated by a fence and a gate.
The mother of Estrella also issued an affidavit claiming that he no longer lives with her in Mt. View Subdivision but has a separate residence at City Heights Subdivision in Brgy. Taculing.
Based on the stated facts, the ERB said it was inclined to give more weight to the respondent’s witnesses who are residents of Mt. View and who are in a much better position to prove the residency of the Benitez.
Following the decision of the ERB, Benitez in a Facebook post sad: “We respect and thank the ERB for the decision. We have complete faith in the Comelec-ERB process. Now, I am a registered voter of Bacolod City. Bacolod, here I come.”
The former congressman confirmed last week that he is running for mayor of Bacolod come 2022 election.