Based on forms she filled out in the Commission on Elections (Comelec), talent manager and congressional candidate Annabelle Rama identified Rahman Street in barangay Zapatera, Cebu City as her home.
But don't expect her to open the door when visitors come to call.
Her brother, Basak barangay captain George Rama said she doesn't like to stay in the house on Rahman Street, the home of their late parents Laurente and Feliciana.
He said his sister prefers to stay in the Citilights Condominium in barangay Busay “for privacy.”
A tenant of the Rahman ancestral house confirmed that Annabelle visits them every Tuesday or Wednesday
The Rahman Street address was cited in the forms Annabelle submitted to the Cebu City Comelec office when she transferred her voter's registration here in May this year.
The timing followed a six-month and one-year residency requirement for a voter under the Constitution and election laws.
Annabelle filed her candidacy for Cebu City's north congressional district last Oct. 5.
Last Oct. 30, her husband, actor Eddie Gutierrez, registered as a Cebu City voter and identified the Citilight Condominium in Busay as his residence.
Their celebrity children, Ruffa, Richard, Richie Paul and Elvis, declared as their residence a property on Rosal Street in barangay Kamputhaw when they transferred their Manila voter's registration.
George Rama told Cebu Daily News the Gutierrez family is leasing the upper floors of the six-storey Maripaz building in barangay Kamputhaw.
Details of the lease arrangement were not volunteered.
A closer look shows that the building is owned by Annabelle's cousin, Enrique Rama, former OIC vice governor, whose law office is on the ground floor.
Like George, Annabelle refused to give details such as when they started to occupy the place and the start of the lease contract.
The date of occupancy and other signs of personal habitation would be important if the issue is raised in court.
Judge Raphael Yrastorza, in the Wakee Salud case about his application to register as a voter in Cordova town, cited a ruling of the Supreme Court which equate residence with “domicile”.
Boxing promoter Wakee Salud filed an application to sign up as a voter of Cordova town in Mactan where he wants to run for mayor.
His application was rejected by the Municipal Trial Court and the Cebu Regional Trial Court because Salud couldn't prove he actually lived in Cordova.
A rented house that Salud seldom visited, and the lack of personal effects inside were noted by two judges.
The Supreme Court ruling said domicile “imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place.”
It also “denotes a fixed permanent residence to which, whenever absent for business, pleasure or some other reasons, one intends to return,” the High Court stated.
To change domicile, one must show actual removal or an intention of abandoing one's former place of residence and setting up a new one, said the court.
Annabelle Rama bristled at criticism that her family supposedly received “special treatment” at the Cebu City Comelec office when they transferred their voters' registration in Cebu City on Oct. 30 and 31, the last days of registration ahead of a long line of late applicants for registration.
The talent manager also said she doesn't see any problem about her lease arrangement in the Maripaz building.
“Unsay problema ana? Kwarta namo ang among gi abang diha. Among hinagooan dili namo kinawat (What's the problem? We are spending our own money, our hard earned money and not stolen from anyone),” said Anabelle in a phone interview the other day.
Annabelle said she was aware of residency requirements for voters, which is at least six months before the May 2013 election.
She said she “cleared” the matter with the Comelec before transferring her voters status and that of her spouse and children, who are popular movie and TV actors in Manila.
I'm not stupid. I know the law even though I didn't finish formal schooling. I cleared this with the Comelec Manila and Cebu office before they transferred.),” she said.
Annabelle said she would not abandon her plans of seeking election in Cebu City, her first foray into politics, despite criticisms against her.
She said she was prepared to answer any election issue against her.
“I really don't care. Mas grabe pa ani nga intriga ang mga intriga sa showbiz (The intrigues in showbiz are worse than this kind of intrigue),” she said.
The Gutierrez family left for Manila last night. George Rama said since Annabelle’s family is registered in Cebu City, “they can now be considered Cebu residents. “But their work is still in Manila,” he added. Chief of Reporters Doris Bongcac
Source: Cebu Daily News