By JOAHNA LEI E. CASILAO and MA LEANDREA A. TAMARES
POLITICAL party DEKADA will once again lead the Artlets Student Council (ABSC) after dominating the 2019 polls, securing all seats in the council except for public relations officer (PRO), which was claimed by independent candidate Eadric Espiritu.
Lady Freyja Gascon will sit as the next ABSC president after garnering 1,119 votes (64.35%), defeating Grand Alliance for Progress (GAP) bet Irah Joyce Embile who garnered 371 votes. A total of 249 Artlets left the position unanswered.
“[T]here’s a lot of pressure but then at the same time it’s also a huge honor that they saw our political party as […] worthy to be the next executive board,” Gascon told the Flame.
Paolo Jericho Manuel secured the position of vice president (VP)-external after garnering 783 votes (45.03%), besting Johann Ludwig Uy (GAP) who earned 497 votes. A total of 459 students did not vote for either candidate.
With 659 votes (37.9%), Gerald Matthew Dela Cruz (DEKADA) won as VP-internal. Rona Alondra Agulto (GAP) received 343 votes while sole Students’ Democratic Party candidate Remar Paulo Panganiban garnered 359 votes. There were 378 Artlets who left the position unanswered.
Romulo Kim Corporal V won the seat of secretary after earning 759 votes (43.65%), beating Jecelie De La Rosa’s (GAP) 459 votes. A total of 529 students did not vote for either candidate.
Elan Karsten Castañares (DEKADA) was proclaimed treasurer after securing 700 votes (40.48%), defeating Niña Estrella’s (GAP) 499 votes. A total of 536 Artlets left the position unanswered.
Gabriel Lapid will assume the position of auditor after garnering 783 votes (45.03%), besting Jelliza Letran (GAP) who got 421 votes. A total of 535 Artlets did not vote for either candidate.
Independent candidate Eadric Espiritu will be next year’s ABSC PRO after earning 529 votes (30.42%), defeating fellow independent candidate Therese Ifurung who got 511 votes and Rosario Raña (GAP) who received 363 votes. DEKADA did not field a candidate for this position. There were 336 Artlets who left the post unanswered.
Despite being the only winning candidate who is not from DEKADA, Espiritu promised to collaborate with the general plan of action of next year’s ABSC.
“Most of them (DEKADA) are my friends, pero kapag trabaho, trabaho. Dapat professional ang approach. […] However, note that I would still maintain my independence because I don’t owe my position to a single party, but to the entire Artlet studentry,” he said.
Voter turnout for this year’s polls stood at 54.39%, a decrease from last year’s 75%.
In 2016, DEKADA also swept the ABSC general elections after winning all seven seats in the council.
The proclamation of winners was held at Plaza Mayor on Saturday night. F