THE UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) sustained its decision to deny Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) accreditation as a University-wide political party for failing to meet requirements.

In a resolution released Jan. 26, Comelec denied LTC’s motion for reconsideration, saying it failed to provide an updated list of members despite several deadline extensions.

Comelec Legal Head James Ballecer said there would be no more extensions.

“We have given [the political parties] enough time to comply. We’ve actually extended [the deadline] twice. We also need to consider other matters and that includes the welfare of the other political parties,” he said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

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

Ballecer however acknowledged that Raza could not be reached through mobile phone.

“Ang means of communication natin ay through [call and text]. Unfortunately during that time, hindi naman reachable si [Raza]. Ang contention nila, dapat daw tinawagan namin ‘yung ibang members [pero] kaya nga lahat ng political parties may point person [para] one-way communication lang dapat,” he said.

Comelec Vice Chair Raymond John Naguit also said they met all representatives of political parties to inform them that they lacked some requirements, before releasing the resolution regarding accreditation.

“They can’t say na walang due process na nangyari because they were informed of the requirements they lacked [beforehand],” Naguit said.

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The UST Student Election Code of 2011 states that unaccredited political parties cannot hold University-wide activities like fora, fund-raising projects, and information campaigns. They are also barred from fielding candidates during elections.

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, namely: Ina Marie Angela Vergara (president), Kristi Celyn Banks (treasurer), Patricia Alexis Canoza (treasurer), and John Jacob See (public relations officer).

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