MANILA, Philippines – With no single political party upholding the outright majority in the elections held on Thursday, April 6, the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman student council for academic year 2017-18 will be as diverse as the university’s students.
The standard-bearers from UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA) and Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA) clinched the top two positions in the University Student Council (USC) elections in UP Diliman on Thursday.
This year’s turnout was slightly higher than that of last year, according to the University Student Electoral Board (USEB).
The USED said 11,951 out of 24,036 eligible voters (49.51%) participated this year, compared to the 49.05% turnout in 2016.
Three major political parties vied for the 35-member council: ALYANSA, KAISA, and the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights (STAND UP). Some ran as independent candidates.
The tumultuous campaign, which lasted for two weeks, centered on the issues of the General Education (GE) Reform Program, free education, and the Magna Carta for Students’ Rights. (READ: #CampusIssue: How will the Magna Carta shape UP elections?)
UP ALYANSA’s standard-bearer Benjie Aquino won as the council chairperson with 4,143 or 34.67% of the votes, besting Ben Te and LA Castro, the chairperson candidates from STAND UP and KAISA, respectively.
Aquino, who is chairs the Business Administration Council (BAC), said in a statement that he will strive to serve the university by listening to everyone amid diversity.
“More than just uniting, we must unite for a purpose and with a definite goal. Kung magkakaisa tayo, dapat para sa pagbabagong gusto natin (If we unite, we should unite for the change that we want),” Aquino said.
Aquino, the first USC chairperson from the College of Business Administration, will be leading a diverse set of student student leaders from different political parties.
Meanwhile, KAISA UP’s candidate Rafael “Yael” Toribio won as the council vice-chairperson with 6,272 or 52.48% of the vote, defeating STAND UP and ALYANSA’s bets Shari Oliquino and Magnolia del Rosario, respectively.
The new USC
In the councilor race, Carlos Cabaero, an independent candidate, garnered the most number of votes. He shattered the record set by Te last elections with 7,525 votes.
UP ALYANSA got 6 councilor positions, while KAISA UP and STAND UP got three and one seat, respectively. Independent candidates, including Cabaero, got two seats as well.
Here is the complete list of the University Student Council for AY 2017-2018:
Chairperson: Benjie Allen “BENJIE” D. Aquino (UP ALYANSA)
Vice-Chairperson: Jose Rafael “YAEL” L. Toribio (KAISA UP)
Cabaero, Carlos C.(Independent)
Deluria, Cassandra “CASSIE” D. (UP ALYANSA)
Del Castillo, Bryan Nicholas “SUGAR” Q. (UP ALYANSA)
Sevilla, Paolo Inigo C. (INDEPENDENT)
Yapcengco, Joe Marie “JM” (UP ALYANSA)
Gan, Jelaine (KAISA UP)
Corridor, Julie-Ann Kris “JULIE” R. (UP ALYANSA)
Malimata, Jethro (KAISA UP)
Farenas, Gertrude Anmari “GERTIE” (KAISA UP)
Black, Timothy Brian “BLACKIE” B. (STAND UP)
Beringuela, Kisha Marielle “KISHA” C. (UP ALYANSA)
Geronimo Rianne Mae “RIANNE” B. (UP ALYANSA)
Asian Institute of Tourism: Sharmaine Jo Regina “JO” Badong (STAND UP)
College of Architecture: Noel Ingersol G. Castro (INDEPENDENT)
College of Arts and Letters: John Isaac “ICE” B. Punzalan (STAND UP)
College of Business Administration: Isabelle Beatriz “BELLE” Ginez (UP ALYANSA)
College of Education: Patricia Ruth “PAT” P. Jasmin (STAND UP)
College of Engineering: Allen John “AJ” Bagkus (KAISA UP), Paul Gabriel “GAB” Lerona (STAND UP), Jason “JASON” Garcia (STAND UP)
College of Fine Arts: Michael “MICHAEL” Yam (STAND UP)
College of Home Economics: Ma. Norma Thea Madeline “MADEE” Conjares (KAISA UP)
College of Human Kinetics: Maria Regina “REDGE” Jimenez (UP ALYANSA)
College of Law: Justine Martinez (INDEPENDENT)
College of Mass Communication: Jesse Doctor (STAND UP)
College of Music: Ricardo Juanito “RJ” Balledos (UP ALYANSA)
College of Science: Aran Khristian “ARAN” Mendoza (KAISA UP)
College of Social Science and Philosophy: Philippe Jefferson “JEFF” Galban (UP ALYANSA)
College of Social Welfare and Community Development: Caryl Jean Gabriela “GABBY” Lucero (STAND UP)
National College of Public Administration and Governance: Christen Diana “DIANA” P. Gallinera (KAISA UP)
School of Economics: Ian Serrano (UP ALYANSA)
School of Library and Information Studies: Liezel “LIZ” M. Aldiano (STAND UP)
School of Statistics: Tierone James “TIERONE” Santos (STAND UP)
A Rappler Mover, JP Punzalan currently studies BS Business Administration at the University of the Philippines – Diliman