By CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN
A SPECIAL election will greet Artlets at the start of the next academic year as no one ran for the position of Public Relations Officer (PRO) in this year’s Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) polls.
AB Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson Ayla-Rhey Salapare said the student political parties in the Faculty were given enough time to prepare for the polls as they were informed of election-related matters a month before.
“[H]indi naman kami pwedeng magpa-file ulit. Syempre ang filing, this is just one day. […] So if hindi sila nag-file ng candidate for the position of PRO, wala tayong magagawa doon.” Salapare told the Flame. “Very certain na magkakaroon ng elections agad at once next year first term.”
Article XI Section 8 of the ABSC Constitution states that all permanent vacancies in the executive board shall be filled by special elections.
Grand Alliance for Progress’ presidential bet and former ABSC PRO Wrexler Bayani said there had been “conflicts” with some of the political party’s prospective candidates “due to their academic performance in the previous semester.”
“We’ll do everything it takes to fill in the PRO position for the next academic year. And by that time, I’m more than certain that we will be able to yield a candidate who’s more than ready to step up to the challenge,” Bayani said.
Students’ Democratic Party presidential contender and former ABSC Treasurer Rafael Arellano said the political party’s potential candidate “backed out last minute,” adding that the party could not find a replacement “both willing and capable to fill in the position.”
“In the event that we can find someone who has both the passion and vision necessary, we will field a candidate for the position,” Arellano said.
Dekada campaign manager Rodrich Rebollos said the party did not want to field any candidate who lacks the necessary skills and willingness for the position, the same reason as to why it did not field a candidate for president.
“We wouldn’t want people who are half-heartedly running only for the position. We have chosen candidates who we believe possess the capacity to fulfill the duties necessary for the position and to go beyond them as to be a better representation of an Artlet student leader,” he said.
The incoming executive board, however, may decide to fill the vacancy of the PRO after the regular elections, the AB Comelec chairperson said. “Pwede naman ‘yun; they can make a committee kasi ‘yun din naman ‘yung ginawa nina Reymark (Simbulan) last year noong walang secretary, auditor, and [vice president-internal].”
Article VIII, Section 9 of the ABSC Constitution mandates the PRO to publicize and disseminate information on the activities and achievements of the Council and perform tasks assigned by the president. F