Independent candidates barred from campaign
A QUALIFICATION contest was filed against all six independent candidates running for Central Student Council (CSC) positions.
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, the UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairperson Julia Unarce said a party filed a complaint earlier that day against the said candidates.
The Comelec refused to further specify the details of the complaint. However, in interviews with TomasinoWeb, some independent candidates were not hesitant to answer concerns related to the issue.
Independent vice presidential candidate Patricia Alexis Canoza accused lone accredited political party Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino (Lakasdiwa) for filing the complaint.
“Nakita ko naman siya (the complaint), magde-deny pa ba ako?” said Canoza, adding that she was later informed of the decision to hold their candidacy merely via text message.
Meanwhile, independent presidential bet Anna Mariz Mangalili said she would continue to fight for her desired position should the decision not be in favor of the independent slate.
“Wala naman talagang proof ‘yung ina-accuse nila sa amin na we’re not totally independent candidates,” said Mangalili.
Last December, the Comelec denied re-accreditation to ruling CSC party Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) and the Alyansa ng Kristiyanong Lakas (AKLAS) after failing to submit requirements on-time.
In an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb, two of the six independent candidates, namely Canoza and secretarial candidate Maria Yvone Yap, did not deny previous ties with LTC. Tresurial candidate Roi Sergio Rey also affirmed previous affiliation with Lakasdiwa.
The Comelec withheld the candidacy of the six independent candidates until the Comelec en banc reaches a decision on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Comelec rebranded the election period, imbibing the theme “Eleksyong Tomasino Tungo sa mas Pinatibay na Konseho.”
“Through this election, we aim [for] the participation of the Thomasian community [to] be able to provide [a] concrete definition of Thomasian elections,” Unarce said during the press conference.
Photo by Mary Celine Clare Tingson