Lawyer Joemax Ortiz yesterday said the move to stop him from transferring his voter’s registration from Bacolod City to Don Salvador Benedicto is a desperate attempt to prevent him from running for mayor of the town in 2013.
Fernando Toreno, a resident of Barangay Kumaliskis, DSB, has filed an opposition to Ortiz’s application before the Commission on Elections on April 19, 2012, to transfer his voter’s registration in the town for lack of merit and residency requirement.
The application of Ortiz, a former councilor of Bacolod and a resident of Barangay Montevista, Bacolod, should be denied for lack of residency as required by law to become a bonafide registered voter of Don Salvador Benedicto, Toreno added.
The claim of Ortiz that he is a resident of Purok Culasi, Barangay Kumaliskis in DSB for two years is without basis, the place he is referring to is classified as a “forest reserve” under the North Negros Natural Park and occupancy in the area is prohibited by law, Toreno added.
Toreno also submitted a certification of Barangay Captain Juanito Pedrosa that Ortiz is not a resident of Purok Culasi that is part of the NNNP and is strictly prohibited by law for occupancy.
The application should also be denied for Ortiz’s failure to attach the previous cancellation of his original voter’s registration in Bacolod City, and to disclose whether he voted in the last two elections, for his registration to be considered still active, Toreno said.
Ortiz, however, maintained yesterday that he is a legitimate resident of DSB because he has been a resident of the place for more than two years.
He said many of the present officials and thousands of residents of DSB also reside within the areas classified as forest reserves. Even the town’s municipal hall, market, schools, churches, police station and other big structures are all located within the forest reserve, he added.
Of the five applicants for a transfer of registration, Ortiz said his was the only one who drew opposition.*CPG