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UST’s Central Judiciary Board nullifies ‘abstain’ win by ordering proclamation of losing bets

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The University of Santo Tomas Central Judiciary Board just put to waste the overwhelming victory of the “abstain” vote in the 2017 student council elections by ordering the proclamation of the losing bets who got the highest number of votes.

In a resolution released on July 24, the Central Judiciary Board ordered the Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set aside its resolution dated May 10 declaring the positions for president, vice president, treasurer and auditor vacant.

The board even took the Comelec to task for including the “abstain” option in the ballots “as if it is (sic) the name of a candidate,” saying this was a violation of Section 5 of Article 10 of the 2011 UST Student Elections Code.

“The said act of Central Comelec, even if previously done, cannot be established into a custom or established practice in contemplation of Article 2 of the Civil Code because it is contrary to the said law,” the resolution read.

“[T]he abstentions should not have been counted or tallied because they are not votes,” it added.

The judiciary board’s decision effectively makes the following candidates from the Lakas Tomasino Coalition the new officers of the student council. They are Steven Grecia as president, Gabriela Sepulchre as vice president, Daveson Nieto as treasurer and Richard Javier as auditor.