By ALI IAN MARCELINO V. BIONG and CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN
SPECIAL ELECTIONS for the position of auditor of the Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) would be held for the second time after only the positions of vice president for internal affairs and secretary were filled in the recently concluded polls.
The position of auditor was declared vacant by the AB Commission on Elections (Comelec) as sole candidate Gherick Barlis of the Grand Alliance for Progress (GAP) obtained 1,149 votes while 1,155 votes were void.
Article XI, Section 7 of the ABSC constitution states that a simple majority (50 percent of voting population plus one) shall be required in case there is only one candidate for any elective position.
Special elections should be held when votes declared as void obtained the highest number of votes in a particular position, Article I, Section 9 of the UST Students’ Election Code of 2011 read.
Clio Marie Ocampo (GAP) is the new ABSC vice president-internal after getting 824 votes, defeating both Jerimiah Pasion (Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UST) and Mary Shane Talapian (Independent), who obtained 543 and 568 votes, respectively. A total of 369 votes were void.
Janina Louise Catap (GAP) won the position of secretary, securing 1,160 votes compared to 1,144 void votes.
AB Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson Ayla-Rhey Salapare said they might conduct the special elections for auditor after the preliminary examinations in the Faculty. “Within 15 days we’re planning to fix and conduct another special elections for the position of auditor so we’ll be meeting with the respective political parties in AB.”
The AB Comelec excluded “abstain” from the ballots in the special elections, leaving Artlets the choice to vote or leave certain positions blank to be considered as void.
Ocampo said it was a privilege to be elected as vice president-internal in the recent polls. “It’s a privilege kasi I get the chance to influence other people, to empower other people, and that’s what I really want, to tell people na kaya nilang mag-contribute sa nangyayari sa atin ngayon.”
Catap said she was grateful that the Artlet community finally chose her as secretary.
“[T]hankful ako na nakita na po ng Artlets na I’m really willing to serve them as their secretary, na kahit po natalo ako dati, naging acting secretary, I fought again, just to serve them and ngayon po official na po na secretary na ‘ko and I will do whatever it takes para lahat po ng will ng Artlets ay magawa ko for them,” Catap said.
Ocampo and Catap will now join fellow GAP members ABSC President Reymark Simbulan and Public Relations Officer Wrexler Bayani, Vice President-External Jancisko Valera, and Treasurer Rafael Arellano in the Council. F