Following an order from the Central Judiciary Board, the UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed candidates with the highest number votes next to “Abstain” as winners in the April student polls.
In a resolution read by Comelec Chairman Arvin Carlo Bersonda last Aug.25, the poll body named Steven Grecia as the new CSC president, Gabriela Sepulchre as vice president, Daveson Nieto as treasurer and Richard Javier as auditor.
Therese Gorospe and Francis Santos were elected secretary and public relations officer, respectively, and were proclaimed on July 21.
“We, acting as a regulatory collegiate body, have decided to abide by the final ruling of Central Judiciary Board in the interest of stability in our student government,” Bersonda said.
The Comelec, however, clarified that it would not order its local units to proclaim candidates who lost to “abstain” in their respective colleges.
“The resolution of the [judiciary board] did not expressly state that its resolution would affect local elections and proclamation… therefore, [we] will not order local units to proclaim the candidates with the most votes next to abstain,” Bersonda said.
The judiciary board nullified last month Comelec’s May 10 resolution that declared the positions president, vice president, treasurer and auditor vacant.
The CSC’s judicial arm ruled that the Comelec should not have included “abstain” along with the names of the candidates in the ballots used during the elections, because it violated Article 10, Section 5 of the UST Student’s Election Code of 2011.
The newly elected officers were absent from the proclamation.
Grecia was out of town for a retreat. Gorospe and Santos were in a leadership conference in Thailand, and Sepulchre, Nieto and Javier were attending their classes, Bersonda said in a text message to the Varsitarian.
Grecia, Sepulchre, Nieto and Javier have yet to confirm if they will accept their positions.