BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Election Registration Board will convene on July 19 to hear a petition filed before the Commission on Elections in Bacolod City, questioning the transfer of the voter registration of former congressman Alfredo Benitez from Victorias City to Bacolod.
Bacolod Election Officer Katherina Caña said that, on July 13, three residents of Brgy. Mandalagan, Bacolod City, through their counsels, filed a petition opposing the application of the transfer of registration of Benitez.
She said the petitioners questioned the residency of Benitez in Brgy. Mandalagan.
Benitez has yet to announce if he will run as mayor of Bacolod City in next year’s elections. But he was seen roaming around some barangays of Bacolod. Benitez used to be a three-termer congressman of the 3rd district of Negros Occidental.
At present, he is serving as consultant for economic affairs of the Negros Occidental provincial government.
Caña said that Benitez will be given the opportunity to answer the petition and submit evidence to prove that he is a resident of Bacolod.
Benitez said he already expected opposition against his transfer of voter registration to Bacolod City.
“I am confident that those moves will not prosper as all the requirements of the law have been fully complied with,” he added. Negros Occidental Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, a vocal supporter of Benitez, said, “Let the people of Bacolod City decide. Instead of resorting to legal technicalities, they should allow the people to decide.”*