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Camarines Sur court strikes Andaya sister off voter’s list, blocking House candidacy

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A local court has struck the name of the sister of House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Jr., off the list of voters for the second district of Camarines Sur—hindering her from running for congressman.

In a recent decision, Libmanan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Irma Isidora Boncodin-Zamudio denied the appeal of Maribel Andaya-Eusebio for inclusion in the voters’ list for Barangay Puro Batia in the said municipality.

Andaya-Eusebio is a former Pasig City mayor and the wife of incumbent Mayor Roberto Eusebio. She would run against incumbent 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr., instead of seeking to succeed her brother who represents the first district and would run for governor this year.

The court affirmed the findings of the Election Registration Board (ERB) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that Andaya-Eusebio failed to establish her residency in Libmanan.

These include residence or bodily presence in Libmanan, intention to remain there, and intention to abandon her old domicile or residence in Pasig City.

The court said it would accord respect and finality to the ERB’s findings, since it is an administrative entity that has the expertise to determine the facts in an election-related issue.

“It is not the task for the Appellate Court or this Court to once again weigh the evidence submitted before and passed upon by the administrative body and to substitute its own judgment regarding the sufficiency of evidence,” read the decision.

The ERB earlier cited Andaya-Eusebio’s admission that she never actually slept in the house in Puro Batia since she bought it in January 2018.

Section 9 of the Voter Registration Act of 1996 requires Filipino citizens to have resided in the place in which they propose to vote for at least six months before the elections.

Meanwhile, Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution requires that a House member be “a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected.”

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