Upon the completion of the annual Samahan Central Board (SCB) elections, the Office of Students Affairs (OSA) directs Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to hold special elections, declaring the proclamation of some candidates “null and void for failure of elections.”
As stated in Article 7, Section 3 of the Samahan Central Board General Election Guide, “For a candidate to be proclaimed a winner, he/she must garner the following votes: a. For a lone candidate, fifty percent of the total voting population plus one student must have casted their votes.”
The voting population of the university is 5,460. Although the number of students who voted is 3,182, 58 percent of the total voting population, some candidates proclaimed were not able to satisfy the requirement of said provision.
Renz Lacorte, lone candidate for the position of president only gained 37 percent of the voting population’s votes; secretary general Samantha Cayona garnered 42 percent; treasurer Rona de Castro had 45 percent; Business and Management Cluster representative Hannah Marie Yarso got 49 percent; School of Engineering and Architecture representative Ethan Joshua Daquipil had 47 percent; Social Sciences Cluster representative Karlo Allesandro Torreon reached 44 percent.
After the tallying of votes, only She-chem Edward Gaspillo, Rholien Rhoi Verallo, Ailene Tagorda, and Gemarie Santos were officially elected as the representatives of Humanities and Letters Cluster, Accountancy Cluster, School of Education and Natural Sciences and Mathematics Cluster respectively.
However, complaints about the misinterpretation of said guidelines ensued after OSA released its statement.
Last January 28, the COMELEC posted in their social media account that “securing quorum (50 percent plus one) does not automatically mean that the candidate would gain the position. If a quorum has been secured and majority decided to practice abstaining, then the decision of the majority will be respected and such candidate will not get the position” in accordance with Article 4 of the election guidelines.
Prior to the announcement of winners, COMELEC consulted OSA and university lawyers for the interpretation of the guidelines in which COMELEC conceded for their misinterpretation but the proclamation of winners proved otherwise.
Yesterday, COMELEC proceeded to talk to the political parties involved. As of press time, COMELEC has not yet responded to Atenews.