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Lakasdiwa fields no candidates for CSC polls as independent bets fill candidate list

Lone accredited political party Lakasdiwa did not field any candidates for the Central Student Council elections as 11 independent bets filled the list.

Lone accredited political party Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino (Lakasdiwa) did not show up during the filing of candidacy for the Central Student Council (CSC) elections on Wednesday, fielding no candidates as independent bets dominated the list.

Lakasdiwa was the only University-wide party which applied for accreditation and met the requirements set by the UST Election Code (USEC) of 2011 (READ: Lakasdiwa lone political party in next CSC elections).

Rival party Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) was suspended for this year after LTC violated the online campaign rules during the last University-wide elections (READ: UST Central Comelec suspends LTC).

Nonetheless, no candidates from Lakasdiwa filed for candidacy earlier today.

Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) Legal Head Blaine Veron said that Lakasdiwa may still file for a motion for reconsideration until Friday, March 23, should the party consider to participate in the polls.

“Yes po, pwede po until Friday po sana kasi mag Easter break na po next week. So hanggang Friday sana meron mabigay na silang letter for reconsideration then we would deliberate if acceptable po ba reason nila o hindi,” Veron told TomasinoWeb.

TomasinoWeb tried to reach Lakasdiwa for comment regarding their absence from the filing but they are yet to respond as of press time.

Meanwhile, 11 independent candidates filled this year’s list of bets for the CSC Executive Board.

Former CSC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Francis Gabriel Santos filed to run for the presidency independently to continue the projects he and CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe implemented this year.

“Gusto ko kasi ipagpatuloy yung nasimula[n] namin ni ate Therese. Gusto ko hindi lang continuity, improvement rin kung ano man pagkukulang namin. Para rin ma-make sure natin na yung CSC na papunta sa tamang direksyon,” Santos said.

Karizza Kamille Cruz, Faculty of Civil Law Student Council secretary, would be running against Santos for the presidential post.

Cruz said she would like to pass the student’s code during her term.

“As a former officer of the student tourism society in my undergrad in the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and a former Central Student Council secretary in 2011 to 2012, currently the secretary of the Civil Law Student Council, I would like, in my term, to pass the student’s code,” Cruz said.

Victor Amores, Faculty of Pharmacy Student Council assistant secretary, filed for the position of vice president unopposed. Medical Technology junior Adrian Lee Fernando is also unopposed for the auditor post.

Journalism junior Carol Anne Balita and Medicine freshman Robert Dominic Gonzales contend for the position of secretary.

Vying for the treasurer post are Alek Pierce Joell Santa Ana, a Marketing Management junior, and Graduate School student Rome Voltaire Gomez.

Political Science juniors Jeremiah Pasion and Jan Krianne Pineda and Advertising Arts senior Jeanne Nicole Naval would be competing for the PRO post.

This year’s polls would revert to an electronic voting system after the Comelec opted for manual voting last year.

The controversial “abstain” vote was also removed in the ballots to be used for the upcoming polls, in accordance with the order of the Central Judiciary Board that declared the “abstain” vote as a violation of the USEC (READ: No ‘abstain’ in upcoming CSC elections; students develop new electronic voting system).

According to the Central Comelec, the campaign period would run from April 3 to 17, while the proclamation of winners would be on April 21.



CSC PRO, VP candidates call for anti-red tagging

“There are many things much worse than student activism,” Mataga said.



Public relations candidate Jeric Mataga (left) and vice presidential candidate Gerald Mathew Dela Cruz (right) during the Tagisan 2021 live streamed by Tomasian Media Circle and Talents.

After the incident during the Tagisan 2021 last April 30 where the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) ordered Central Student Council (CSC) public relations candidate Jeric Mataga to remove his self-taken protest zoom background, the candidates voiced out their grievances concerning red-tagging.

Mataga, who is also a sophomore from the Institute of Information and Computing Sciences, told TomasinoWeb that “there are many things much worse than student activism.”

“I’m literally going to talk about red-tagging here and they’re going to red-tag me because of my background,” he said. 

“The students deserve fairness and justice, not unwarranted scrutiny and red-tagging,” he added.

According to Mataga, if he wins as the public relations officer (PRO), he would address red-tagging in three ways. 

“Well for one, the constitution of the CSC and the constitution of the Philippines protect political views such as being a leftist. So politically and legally speaking, we’re protected by our policy within UST and the law,” he said.

A student code that empowers students, according to him, can guarantee their safety from red-tagging.

“By pushing for a student’s code that empowers the students thoroughly and comprehensively, we can guarantee their safety from red-tagging even better. A review of the student handbook would be quite beneficial as well,” Mataga said.

He also wanted to aid students that are charged with disciplinary actions for political views.

“For students who have received disciplinary action due to political views and/or actions, as long as they are justified and legal according to law, the UST0CSC will do everything in its power to defend them, especially during their hearings,” he said.

“No student should have their hearings without a proper defence. I’ve heard students that have been to hearings where they were either alone or only had one person on their side, and the rest of the people there were their prosecutors,” he added.

Challenge vs. censorship, free speech

Gerald Mathew Dela Cruz, the lone vice presidential candidate, was asked during the question-and-answer portion about his reasons for running “despite being red-tagged in the past.”

According to Dela Cruz, who is also the incumbent vice president-internal of the Artlets Student Council, red-tagging gravely affects not only the safety but also the mental capacity of the person who is experiencing it.

“Ang hamon sa ating mga tumatakbo sa Central Student Council, sa bawat Local Student Council […] at sa mismong UST administration ay maglatag at magpasa ng komprehensibong polisiya patungkol sa kaligtasan ng buong Thomasian Community hinggil sa red-tagging, pag-censor sa ating karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag, at iba pang mga importanteng isyu na dala nating mga estudyante,” he said on a statement yesterday.

Red-tagging, according to Dela Cruz, is rooted from a worsened political situation in the country.

“Ang issue ng red-tagging ay mula sa sobrang lalang political situation ng ating bansa, marami nang mga progresibong kabataan at organisasyon ang napahamak dahil sa lantarang red-tagging ng iba’t-ibang mga indibidwal at ng mismong gobyerno natin na hindi kinikilala ang malawak na implikasyon nito sa mga Pilipino,” he said. 

Mataga is pushing for the passage of a student code that will protect Thomasians’ rights as students of the University. 

He urged the Thomasian student-leaders to use their platforms to speak for the truth and to inform fellow Filipinos. 

“Tayo ay dapat magpatuloy na tumindig para sa mga kapwa natin estudyante, buong komunidad ng UST, mga kapwa natin kabataan, at para sa bayan,” he said.


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CSC candidates call for addressing sociopolitical problems in PH

The new Central Student Council (CSC) executive board candidates promoted agendas educating Thomasians on discourses of suffrage and national issues on Friday, April 30. 



The Tagisan Mandatory Debate yesterday, April 30, livestreamed by the Tomasian Media Circle and Talents on Facebook.

The new Central Student Council (CSC) executive board candidates promoted agendas educating Thomasians on discourses of suffrage and national issues on Friday, April 30. 

Candidates Krizia Bricio, Gerald dela Cruz, Anne Arnet Paguirigan, Jerome Espinas, Gabriele de Lara, and Carl Mataga shared the same advocacy in addressing country matters and issues in Tagisan 2021. 

Public relations candidates Mataga and Espinas aim to focus on educating Thomasians on national issues concerning education, poverty, unemployment, mental health, and lack of government support, while de Lara said that he will focus on “proactive communication and information dissemination.”

“Gagamitin natin ang CSC bilang plataporma para bigyang kaalaman ang mga Tomasino sa kinakaharap natin ngayon na isyu at makisali sa diskusyon […] tungkol sa ating unibersidad [at sa] lipunan,” Espinas said.

Independent candidates Paguirigan and dela Cruz, who are running for secretary and vice presidential position, echoed each other on pushing for the involvement of youth in widening the scope of voter education in the country.  

“Sa pamamagitan ng malawakang voter education, dalangin nating bumaba sa mga komunidad at magkaroon ng malayang diskusyon sa kanilang kasalukuyang sitwasyon, at kung paano dapat tayong pumili ng mga kandidato sa ating lugar,” dela Cruz said.

Independent presidential candidate Bricio urged Thomasians to be vigilant in voting, whether on smaller or larger scales.

“[M]abutihin po natin na kilatisin at suriin ang ating mga kandidato sa organisasyon man natin ito, local student council, central student council at mas lalo na sa national elections,” she said.

UST Tagisan 2021 was organized by TOMCAT-UST and UST Central Commission Elections in partnership with The Varsitarian, Thomasian Debaters Council, and UST Becarios De Santo Tomas.


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2 Thomasians among top 10 in April 2021 pharma boards

Among the 1,168 takers, Anna Teresa Galian and John Miguel Nicolas of the Faculty of Pharmacy were among the top 10.



Thomasian pharmacists Anna Teresa Galian (second place) and John Miguel Nicolas (seventh place) among the top 10 in April 2021 pharmacy licensure exams.

Two newly-licensed Thomasian pharmacists made it among the April 2021 top 10 passers of the pharmacy licensure exams.

Among the 1,168 takers, Anna Teresa Galian (89.95%) and John Miguel Nicolas (88.45%) of the Faculty of Pharmacy were among the top examinees, placing second and seventh, respectively.

According to the results released by the Professional Regulation Commission on Friday, April 30, the University is also the fifth top-performing school in the Philippines after posting an 83.33% passing rate.

In 2019, UST emerged as the top-performing school with a 94.81% passing rate.

Last year’s scheduled pharmacy board exams were deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic health restrictions and lockdown.

The examinations took place from April 25-26 in areas under the classification of Modified General Community Quarantine. 

The cities where the exams were conducted include Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Legaspi, Pagadian, Rosales, Pangasinan, and Zamboanga.

The results came out four working days after the day of the examination. 


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