Jan. 27, 2015, 5:53 p.m. – THE UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) has upheld its decision to deny Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) accreditation as a University-wide political party after failing to submit a requirement on time.

In a resolution Monday, the Comelec said LTC had failed to provide an updated roll of members despite  several deadline extensions.

“The Commission En Banc, constituting a quorum, failed to see a valid justification as to LTC’s failure to submit the required documents on time,” the decision stated.

LTC said in its motion for reconsideration that party representative Immanuel Raza did not  receive the text message sent by Comelec Chairperson Julia Unarce regarding the Nov. 13
deadline for the submission of requirements.

LTC also said it filed a Petition for Recognition and not a Petition for Reaccreditation, but Comelec deemed the argument “irrelevant.”

According to Article 5 of the UST Student Election Code (USEC) of 2011, a political party should be registered first before qualifying for accreditation.

Comelec said it would not “give another extension to accommodate [LTC’s] deficiencies.”

Unaccredited parties lose the right to hold University-sanctioned activities like fora, fund-raising projects, and information campaigns, according to Article 7 of the USEC. They are also barred from fielding candidates during the election.

Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino is the lone accredited party this academic year. Alyansa ng Kristiyanong Lakas was also not recognized for failing to submit requirements on time, but opted not to seek reconsideration.

LTC dominated last year’s Central Student Council election, in which four out of its six candidates won, including President Ina Marie Vergara, Treasurer Kristi Celyn Banks, Auditor Patricia Alexis Canoza, and Public Relations Officer John Jacob See.

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  1. Mere privilege given out of humanitarian consideration or not, any businesses that the commission will have with any parties should be stated in “black and white” because specifically this extension of the deadline is a legal matter and in should have a legal document that would prove the commission has really made an action or extended its deadline. It is very inappropriate for the commission to use text messaging a means of communication to any party especially that this commission is always dealing with legal matters and judging issues with legal basis. If the the commission is really encouraging a strong and united political movement by granting privileges to the political party as stated in their election code, they should’ve ensured that the political party has received their text message and i believe in this case, they did not. The commission should accept their fault in this event and ask for an apology to the said party. And one more thing, the adviser of this commission should make it sure that the En Banc are really knowledgeable of their election code (USEC 2011) and capable of dealing with this kind of issues in the legal way.

  2. I agree with the first comment. I think LTC has a proper claim to this. Their case can be elevated to the Central Judiciary Board. The Central COMELEC should know that in a legal matter like this, a black and white RESOLUTION SIGNED BY THE ENBANC should be given to the concerned parties not just a mere text which can sometimes be not received.

  3. Since when did this commission have communicated a very important matter thru text messaging? Did they really not foresee this kind of problem that would arise if they used such kind of communication? Are their Executive Board and En Banc really capable of doing such tasks imposed by the commission if this small matter they could not handle right? What are their background and are their experience enough to handle a more serious issues? Choosing commissioners should also be as meticulous like how the student council are elected because these people (COMELEC Commissioners) could be a hindrance to a potential good leader that could possible be a leader in our university. I’m wondering how did this kind of people (COMELEC Commissioners) were chosen to assume office in the commission.

    • comelec commissioners are just appointed by their student councils, not elected. and those in the central comelec are also appointed. every year, there has been a problem with comelec. but not this kind of problem were central comelec i think is grossly wrong.

      • Sorry to say, the COMELEC commissioners aren’t “appointed” by the respective SCs. Straighten your facts, join the commission.

        • i was an appointed comelec commissioner, given a recommendation from the outgoing chairman of the previous comelec….no elections done….i joined the commission myself… it depends on what the rules of ur college.

          • Sa local comelec units, they get appointed. Pero sa Central, may election pong nangyayari. I should know. Naka-attend na ko ng ganun. As far as I can remember, it was school year 2011-2012 nung umattend ako ng Leadership Training Smeinar ng Comelec wherein nagpadala sila ng 2 representatives from local units. Bukod sa usual na ginagawa sa isang lts, nag elect din po kami ng bagong officers.

        • Sorry to say too because every college’s/faculty’s constitution varies from one another and central comelec are composed of representatives of each college/faculty. Read first and you can straighten your facts more. Know your/our commission.

          PS. We were appointed by our SC before. Even our central rep is appointed.

    • Usually, they get chosen. Palakasan kung sinong manok ng outgoing officers un ang “nananalo” sa so called election nila. That has been their practice. 🙂

  4. Did the vice chairperson of the Central COMELEC just accused the Varsitarian Publication of writing about something that they do not know fully and not exerting much effort in understanding the whole thing? Did the Varsitarian really portrayed a very narrow view on this issue? Did they really missed out the facts of the whole story? I have just read the post of the Vice Chairperson in his Facebook account. Is he questioning the integrity of the Official Student Publication of the University of Santo Tomas? Who’s integrity is more questionable?

  5. SMS is convinient but whoever sent that SMS should have had the common sense to comprehend that this is an important matter and should have been written in black and white. Also, the resolution appears to be one sided and pourly writen to defend the action of the COMELEC. Citing humanitarian reasons as an excuse is very lame. No calamity has happened to cite “humanitarian reasons” in this context. At some point they must come down and apologize for this mistake. Like the previous comment, lots of promising leaders are facing jeopardy because of this stupid decision. COMELEC should be there to promote leadership and healthy competition and not to hinder these things from happening. Lastly, I really doubt the capabilities of the current comission, under experienced and puro salita.

  6. As far as I know and as per USEC, Re-acreditation is only needed when the party has not participated in the election for two consecutive years. Since LTC clearly participated last year, they dont need to donthe acreditation process but rather just the recognition. Correct me if I am wrong.

  7. To the so called chairperson of the ust central comelec, Ms. Julia Unarce:

    You cannot just send an SMS to a political party informing them about the deadline of the submission or extension of the deadline and any announcements or decisions that Central COMELEC will be doing because it is very inappropriate as what the previous comments have been saying. These kind decisions should have been agreed by the majority of the sitting en banc. A resolution written in black and white will be an evidence that everyone have agreed of extending the deadline of the submission. If you cannot provide a resolution, that decision would be questionable. FYI, a chairperson cannot decide on her own to extend the deadline because that would be unconstitutional. And FYI again, your election code does not give you the power to decide with this matter on your own. If you want legality, it’s even in the USEC 2011. Please read the election code before your term expires. Know your responsibilities! And you cannot also send your decision thru text. I assume that every decision that you have made was written in black and white. I hope there’s no abuse of authority in here just like what most of us are thinking. And just an advice, please refrain from using SMS as a means of communication to the political parties. Write them a letter. And now, who’s negligence is this therefore? Have you really lost your integrity?

    PS. Also, please know when to admit your fault and ask for an apology? Previous Central COMELEC Commissioners have done that, why can’t you? Who are you not to?

    To the LTC political party:

    Please appeal this decision to the Central Judiciary Board. It’s not too late. I strongly believe you have a chance to win this case.

  8. Sa totoo lang, KARMA ito sa Lakas Tomasino Coalition because of their intent to cheat the Thomasian community of their vote. May isang incumbent na officer that knowingly cheated credentials. Even the school kung saan nangaling ang incumbent officer na ito was about to file a letter to OSA regarding the false credential. Puro face value lang yung mga pinapatakbo nila espacially sa mga so-called “stronghold” colleges nila like Science, CTHM and Engineering. Aware naman ang Lakas Tomasino Coalition. Alyansa ng Kristyanong Lakas and Lakas Ng Diwang Tomasino on each other’s dirty laundry. But what is more disgusting is LTC’s rigging of the Students Code. One of their “distinguished” senior member is responsible for manipulating and keeping the lone copy of the student’s code. lahat naman ng pol-parties, hinahangnad na maipasa ang SC habang nakaupo ang kanilang standard bearer or kung kailan majority ng candidates nila ang naka upo. Sana mas lalong maging mapanuri ang bawat botanteng tomasino lalo na at papalapit na ng papalapit ang election season. at kung hindi man accredited o recognized ang AKLAS o LTC, for sure, magpapatakbo sila as independent or totally drop out of the rat race, which is highly impossible considering the huge ego their respective alumnus/alumnae.


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