February 19, 2020 (3:23 PM)

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After weeks of arduous deliberations between the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) of Ateneo de Davao University, the new set of Samahan Central Board officers for 2020 have finally been sworn into office on February 13, Finster Auditorium.

The 10 newly-elected officers for academic year 2020-2021 include Renz Lacorte (President), Samantha Cayona (Secretary-General), Rona De Castro (Treasurer), Rholien Verallo (Accountancy Representative), Hannah Yarso (Business and Management Representative), Joshua Daquipil (Engineering and Architecture Representative), She-Chem Gaspillo (Humanities and Letters Representative), Gemarie Santos (Natural Science and Mathematics Representative), Ailene Tagorda (Education Representative), and Karlo Torreon (Social Sciences Representative).

Prior to the formal oath-taking ceremony, the COMELEC already declared the officers-elect as winners on January 30 at the end of the election period. Immediately after the declaration, the OSA released a memorandum stating that the COMELEC has misinterpreted the guidelines for election of the sole candidates.

Despite this, the COMELEC then released a statement on January 31 stating that “[The COMELEC] upholds its conviction and its interpretation of the electoral guidelines in relation to yesterday’s public announcement.”

On February 7, OSA released a statement mentioning that it withdraws its earlier memorandum on January 30 and submits the matter to the resolution of the COMELEC.

“In the interest of administrative exhaustion of remedies, the OSA withdraws its earlier Memorandum dated 30 January 2020 and submits the matter to the resolution of the COMELEC,” the OSA said, adding that clearer policies and guidelines by the COMELEC on the conduct of the elections must be made to avoid ambiguity.

During the oath-taking, Angelo Timajo, COMELEC President reminded the officers to always remember the reason why they are running and the rest will follow.

“The only advice I can give as a fellow student leader is to remember your why. Remember whose rights and voices you fight for — for the interest of the students you serve and everything else will follow,” he said.

Renz Lacorte, the newly-elected SCB president, encouraged everyone to be reminded of their dreams for service and shared visions as their main advocacy during the campaign.

“We humbly ask the community to pray for us, our student leaders, our administrators, our national and local leaders, to pray for our country and the world as we surge past current challenges. Para sa Ateneo, Para sa Mindanao,” Lacorte added.



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