January 31, 2023

Benguet caretaker Rep. Eric Yap is fa-cing two charges before the Commission on Elections and a local court for the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy and removal from the list of voters’ in Itogon, Benguet.

Filed before the Municipal Trial Court First Judicial Region-Itogon by some residents of Loacan, Itogon through their counsel, Atty. Jerry Marave, against the Election Registration Board (ERB) and Yap is the petition for exclusion in the permanent list of voters.

The petitioners also filed before the Comelec a petition to deny due course or cancellation of the certificate of candidacy Yap filed on Oct. 29.

The petitioners questioned the legitimacy of Yap’s residency. He is a registered voter of one of the precincts in Tocmo Elementary School, Barangay Loacan. Yap has used Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges in Loacan as his address.

The petitioners alleged that Yap does not have a bodily presence in Loacan and has no intention to abandon his original residence in Quezon City, which would qualify him to register as a new voter in Loacan.

Yap filed his application to transfer his voter’s registration to Itogon in November 2020, which the petitioner stated was approved by the ERB on April 19.

Aside from his residency, the petitioners are questioning Yap’s citizenship, alleging that he himself disclosed to Marave that both of his parents are Chinese citizens.

Yap, through his counsel, submitted his answer to the court assailing the allegations against him.

Marave said they are waiting for the initial hearing set on Nov. 16.

Marave has also filed to the Comelec the petition to deny due course or cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of Yap on Oct. 29.

Yap, who was appointed caretaker of Benguet in January 2020, is running for the congressional seat in the province. – Ofelia C. Empian