With full faith in the electorate of UP Los Banos, the Office of the Student Regent will recognize Ynik Ante the chairperson of their University Student Council. Ms Ante won the elections held 22-24 February 2012 by 36 votes.
The disqualification case against Ms Ante, who had unpaid tuition until the time of the election, should no longer be entertained by the College Electoral Board (CEB) of UP Los Banos for both technical and substantial grounds. Per records of the University Registrar, Ms Ante was enrolled last semester.
Late payment of tuition should not be used to undermine the position of any student committed to be involved so fully in UP’s academic and extra-curricular offerings. Such circumstance is one many UP students have found themselves in, with UP tuition’s rise to almost five times the minimum wage.
No law or precedent will correctly stand to the position to consider the election as if Ms Ante’s name had not been present on the ballot. Nullifying votes already cast for her nullifies the vote entirely. Thus, the proposal of the CEB to declare the runner up as chairperson is baseless.
For guidance in future elections, the OSR stands that the mere pendency of a disqualification case against a candidate who had been allowed into a ballot does not justify the suspension of proclamation after winning in the election. To hold otherwise would unduly encourage the filing of baseless and malicious petitions for disqualification if only to effect the suspension of the proclamation of the winning candidate. In the end, this defeats the sovereign will of the electorate and unduly benefits undeserving third parties.
We call on the CEB of UP Los Banos – all college secretaries and student council chairpersons – to uphold the UP tradition of open-mindedness and democracy, and to proclaim Ms Ante as chairperson of the UPLB USC as soon as possible.
Hopefully, this serves as a fitting challenge to Ms Ante, the students’ choice, along with the duly-elected USC, to pay off lost time and to release the distress and disappointment, with magnified commitment to serve their constituency.
All the best, for a better UP.
Outgoing Student Regent
Incoming Student Regent
1 June 2012