February 2, 2023 (10:30 AM)

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COMRADESHIP. Aspiring candidates for the SAMAHAN Central Board lined up and held hands after the concluded Miting de Avance held at the Bapa Benny Tudtud Auditorium last January 23, 2023. Photo by Leah Genny Altizo

Venturing with political platforms and a series of online and face-to-face campaigns among respective political parties, candidates from Pinag-isang Lakas na Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista (PIGLASAPAT) dominated the top four positions, while BAHAGHARI claimed the clusters for next year’s roster of SAMAHAN officers.

Sponsored by the Together Tomorrow coalition, Chyna Marie Legaspina, Daniel Dave Gomez, Zoreyn Victorio Dabon, and Michelle Anne Cunanan obtained the majority of votes from the student population during the 3-day SAMAHAN Central Board (SCB) Elections for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary-General, and Treasurer, respectively. 

Legaspina told Atenews her vision to lead the SAMAHAN with a brand of leadership that PIGLASAPAT has been forwarding ever since—results-driven and people-oriented. 

“We bring forth a leadership that is heavily grounded in producing tangible results that answer different Atenean-related concerns, smooth transitions towards the changes the academic year anticipates, actualizing the promises we presented during the campaign, and reviving the Atenean university experience as more students will be coming back to campus.”

Legaspina added that their victory is a chance to build upon what has been done in the five previous PIGLASAPAT-led SCB, notably leading the charge to a full-fledged return, this time to the face-to-face set-up for the next school year. She added seeing Phoenixes being inspired to take more space in the Ateneo leadership arena and serving with their mantra, ‘Para sa Ateneo, Para sa Lipunan.’

Despite four seats won by Piglas candidates, the majority of the positions of cluster representatives were from BAHAGHARI with Ariane Mae Mendez (Computer Studies Representative), Monica Gwen Cortes (School of Education Representative), Carrie Louie Tulipas (Natural Sciences & Mathematics Representative), Rey Angelo Santella (Social Sciences Representative), Leen Juliet Lapatis (School of Nursing Representative), and Vincent Cesar Canonigo (Accountancy Representative). 

Furthermore, a candidate from AGILAS, Donabel Nobleza (Humanities and Letters Representative), and two independent candidates, Cai Roxana Reyes (School of Engineering and Architecture Representative) and Ezekiel John Dalayon (Business & Management Representative), obtained their respective seats as cluster representatives. However, the COMELEC clarified that Mr. Dalayon has a pending case to be resolved.

Accordingly, Legaspina told Atenews that the political diversity of the SCB is an avenue for more opportunities for collaboration and building good relationships and work dynamics in SAMAHAN.

“…the top four will be working the most closely with one another and will find diverse perspectives amongst its cluster representatives, and all together, will create a SAMAHAN that pursues its end goal: the betterment of the student body.” 

Social Sciences Representative-elect Rey Angelo Santella from BAHAGHARI said there would be adjustments in their leadership given that the top 4 selected leaders came from PIGLASAPAT. Nevertheless, Santella expressed their sentiments to inline their leadership to fulfill the SAMAHAN goal. 

“Possible compromise shall be engaged with our Top 4, and I’m sure that won’t be a struggle for me since I’ve already worked with Mr. Gomez and Mr. Dabon for the past two years.”

SCB Elections 2023

Executing the 2023 SCB Electoral Code, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) Commission on Elections Chairperson Andrea Rose C. Reyno virtually proclaimed the official electoral via ADDU COMELEC Facebook Live on January 27, 2023. 

“I must say that this year’s election was partially successful and, at the same time, challenging. It is the first time that we transition into face-to-face activities,” Reyno mentioned. 

Results released by the 2023 SCB Elections were validated, which comprises a total of 67.21% of undergraduate students who cast their votes, which is lower than the last year’s outcome with 72.06% voter turnout that has been cast.

“I am quite disappointed with the turnout; that’s why this must serve as a challenge not just to us COMELEC but the future SAMAHAN officers to raise awareness to the student body to exercise their voting rights,” the COMELEC Chairperson expressed during the interview. 

The COMELEC Board of Commissions recorded 2,413 votes for Michelle Anne Cunanan in the Office of Treasurer and 2,321 for Zoreyn Victorio Dabon in the Office of Secretary-General.  

Over 1,804 votes for the Office of Vice President were garnered by Daniel Dave Gomez, and 2,687 votes were obtained by Chyna Marie Legaspina in the Office of President.

The oath-taking ceremony by the elected candidates will take place on February 18, 2023. 

The full memorandum of the election results is posted on COMELEC’s Facebook page.



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