On March 8, the SENTRO La Salle political party submitted a motion to repeal the Student Commission on Election (SCE)’s memorandum regarding the schedule of the giving of the certificate of candidacy (COC), filing of candidacy, and campaign period.
The memorandum, which was given to all accredited political parties in the University on February 16, stated that the release of COCs was scheduled on February 22 followed by the filing of COCs from February 29 to March 4.
According to SENTRO Secretary General Meriel Faye Acaba, the schedule declared in the memorandum does not comply with Article VII, Section 4 of the 2016 Amended Student Election Code (E-Code) of DLSU-D, which states that the week after the distribution of COCs shall be considered as a grace period for all candidates. After that week, the period for the filing of candidacy shall commence for five working days.
Acaba said, “Clearly, there is a substantial difference between the timeline set by the SCE on the memorandum and Article VII, Section 4 of the 2016 Amendment Student E-code. Instead na ginamit ‘yung February 29 to March 5 as grace period, nag-proceed po agad sila sa filing, which violates the E-Code.”
However, SCE Chairperson Aaron Bryan Lopez said they considered February 23 to February 27 as the grace period for the candidates to process all the required documents.
“We are in good faith [that we followed the election code]. Also, the memorandum was reviewed and approved by the OSS (Office of Student Services) and SDAO (Student Development and Activities Office),” Lopez said.
He furthered that the SCE could have addressed the issue with the memorandum if the motion to repeal has been filed by SENTRO before March 8. “We considered the five working days here as a week, which they did not contend on the release of the memorandum. If they have pointed this out earlier, we could have suspended this and we could have alleviated the problem.”
Lopez also denied that SENTRO had raised the issue to the SCE as early as February 29. But Acaba said, “Noong Monday (February 29), tinanong ko na ito (issue regarding the memorandum) agad sa kanila (SCE) via phone call. Sabi nila babalikan po nila ako for clarification [pero] hindi na po ito nangyari. But we are sure that this was raised before the repeal was made.”
Lopez clarified that SENTRO called only to request the SCE to allow an authorized person to file for one of their candidates, and not about the schedule stated in the memorandum.
The SCE plans to release their decision on the motion filed by SENTRO on March 10.
‘Unqualified,’ not ‘disqualified’
Lopez said the SENTRO slate was incomplete due to the “unqualified” candidates who failed to submit the required documents and to specify the position they are running for during the filing of COCs.
“These candidates are not considered as ‘disqualified’ since they are free from violations and did not commit anything against the 2013 Amended University Student Council (USC) Constitution,” Lopez mentioned.
According to the SCE’s statement on their Facebook page, they have overlooked some files, which caused the delay in the proclamation of the six SENTRO candidates in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Student Council (CEATSC) and College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHMSC). The SCE posted the revised list of official candidates for the said colleges on March 9.