As one of the requirements that have to be complied by FCSC election candidates, the COMELEC enjoined the applicants for electoral posts to resign from the organizations where they hold key positions such as president, vice-president and treasurer/finance officer.
The official rule states that “If a candidate is presently holding a position in a student organization, he or he must submit resignation letter and clearance signed by the adviser.”
Failure to complete requirements for candidacy is a sufficient ground for disqualification, as mandated by the CSC Synchronized Campus Election Code (SCEC) on the Effect of Failure to Meet the Requirements (Article 6, Section 3).
While the actual provision for resignation from positions in an org is not found in the SCEC, resigning from positions has been the practice of applicants for candidacy in the past few FCSC elections.
The implementation of the rule was suggested to the COMELEC by the Faculty Advisers on the Campus Election Matters (FACEM).
The FACEM was created through the mandate of Article 11, Section 2 or the Composition of the College Student ElectoralTribunal (CSET) of the SCEC. Under the CSET, the FACEM’s primary constitutional function is to hear and make decisions on protests and violations that may arise during the election period.
Presently, the FACEM is headed by Prof. Danilo Murillo, with Dr. Nancy Magtangob, Mr. Joseph Zafe, and Prof. Lilia Almonte as members.
According to Prof. Amelia Armea, Director of Student Services, this idea by the FACEM is one way of safeguarding the organization, especially their money.
However, she also stressed that the resigned officers should no longer regain the position theyvacated unless they applyor run again.
FCSC incumbent president Eric Amarille opposes this rule, saying that every elected officer should end their respective terms in March.
Meanwhile, this decree by the COMELEC is not the only revision that the committee has acted for this school year’s FCSC Elections.
To ensure successful conduct of the Federated College Students Council (FCSC) polls for school year 2013-2014, the COMELEC secured the grounds of the election code by which the committee is operating.
COMELEC Chairman Adeleine Rubio said that they revisited the Guidelines for Election Day in the FCSC constitution and fixed the implementation of a few rules that the committee has applied for the last two polls.
New rules that were instituted include the extension of voting hours, as well as the strict implementation of the wearing of the school uniform and school ID by the candidates during the general rally.
As stated in the FCSC constitution, the election shall start from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM instead of the previously observed 8:00-3:00 PM voting hours.
Moreover, during the previous FCSC elections, the candidates were obliged to wear their school uniform during the general rally, but it is indicated in the constitution that they need to wear not only the school uniform, but also the school ID.
In the present FCSC election rules, the COMELEC stressed that vote buying and gift-giving or giving of aids `inside and even outside the campus is strictly prohibited.
This was given emphasis after the FCSC elections in 2011, wherein issues about relief goods distribution arose at the height of the election campaign. Rubio said that they have clarified the rule to avoid similar issues that happened in the 2011 elections.
“We are looking forward to a clean election and asking for the cooperation of the candidates, as well as the voters, for the success of this activity,” Rubio finally added.