March 25, 2015, 9:22 a.m. – THE CENTRAL Commission on
Elections (Comelec) has rejected the petition of Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino
(Lakasdiwa) to disqualify all independent candidates in this year’s Central
Student Council (CSC) elections.

“We find no merit in the petition of Lakasdiwa to disqualify
the contested independent candidates,” Comelec stated in a resolution released
Tuesday
. “Lakasdiwa failed to provide clear and convincing evidence that would
support [its] contention relative to the intent of the respondents running as
independent candidates.”

Declared eligible to run were Anna Mariz Mangalili
(president); CSC auditor Patricia Alexis Canoza (vice president); Maria Yvonne
Erica Yap (secretary); Roi Sergio Rey (treasurer); CSC Chief of Staff Zeth
Renae Raquedan (auditor); and Ranel Simon Rey (public relations officer).

“The Commission hereby [approves] the Certificates of
Candidacy (COC) filed by the respondents since the records reveal that they
were able to meet all the requirements set forth in the UST Student Election
Code of 2011,” the resolution stated.

Lakasdiwa claimed in its complaint that the independent
candidates were merely “masquerading” as independents and were really members
of an unrecognized political party.

“Several print screen images of online posts of some
independents attached [to] the complaint establish the fact that they are not
really independent candidates in the strictest sense of the phrase,” read the
complaint signed by Lakasdiwa legal officer Ronn Robby Rosales and Chairperson
Eula Andre San Juan.

The Comelec noted that all independent candidates had
appeared before the commission, and had stated under oath that they were not
going to represent any political party.

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The Comelec also dismissed Lakasdiwa’s separate plea seeking
the disqualification of Roi Sergio Rey
.
Lakasdiwa claimed Rey was its member,
and yet was running as an independent candidate.

“There is nothing [in] the records of the Central Comelec
and the Commerce Comelec that would support [Lakasdiwa’s] contention that the
respondent is a member of Lakasdiwa,” Comelec said.

The Comelec withheld the candidacies of independent
candidates on Monday
after eligibility complaints were filed against them.

All candidates of Lakasdiwa, the sole recognized university-wide
political party, were officially approved on the same day.

The Lakasdiwa bets are: CSC Secretary Rosevielentine Rosales
(president); John Louis Tingzon (vice president); Alecksia Tantay (secretary);
Lene Benette Gabriel (treasurer); Veronica Raye Jalandoni (auditor); and Justin
Miguel Co (PRO).

The 12-day campaign period started today, March 24, and will
run until March 28. It will resume after the Holy Week break on April 7 and
will end on April 15.

The last day of elections will be on April 17. Winners of
the local and university-wide student elections will also be announced on the
same day. Dayanara T. Cudal

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