April 27, 2016, 6:50p.m. – THE UST Central Commission
on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday flatly rejected calls for new Central
Student Council (CSC) elections, saying there was no fraud during the polls.

The poll body said the call
of the Central Board to declare a failure of elections, following technical
glitches that postponed the announcement of election results twice, had no
legal basis.

The Central Comelec pointed
out that it is “independent” body that cannot be dictated upon by the Central
Board, the legislative body of the CSC composed of local student council

In a statement, the Central Comelec
disclosed the events leading to the postponement of the announcement of
election results last April 22 and 25, until the April 26 meeting between the
Central Comelec and concerned parties.

“Based from (sic) the
evidence presented, it was clear that there was no fraud committed and that
there is no legal basis to conduct a re-election for the Central Student
Council,” the statement said.

During the canvassing at
around 2 p.m. last April 22, the computer used by Raul Ponay, technology and
infrastructure manager of the Educational Technology (EdTech) Center, “suddenly
restarted, halting the downloading of the file (results of the CSC elections)”
from  Blackboard, UST’s online learning
system, the poll body said.

Ponay, an engineer,
attempted to download the files for the second time. At 5 p.m., the canvassing
of the local student council election results was finished, but Ponay’s
computer crashed while downloading the CSC results.

At 6 p.m., Ponay sent an
e-mail to Blackboard operators in Australia and Singapore “to seek assistance
due to the difficulty in downloading the CSC election results.” However,
Blackboard was unable to download the file as well.

“When we tried to download
the results my connection also got disconnected. 44,000 student records is a
very big result set,” a representative from Blackboard Australia and Singapore
said in a response attached to the Central Comelec’s statement.

Blackboard Australia and
Singapore later sent a “secured link” to EdTech.

Election officials also said
EdTech Director Anna Cherylle Ramos wrote Central Comelec Adviser Antonio Chua
to explain the technical glitches.

The Central Comelec said it
met with representatives of the political parties and independent candidates
last April 26 to discuss the technical issues in detail. The concerned parties
were then asked to submit a written statement acknowledging that Comelec did
not commit dishonesty.

The canvassing of votes and
proclamation of winners of the CSC elections were reset to today, April 27, at
the Tan Yan Kee Student Center. Paul Xavier Jaehwa C. Bernardo


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