Independent Presidential Candidate Drew Copuyoc has won the race for the Sanggunian presidency by a landslide, garnering 56.9% of the 4,298 votes cast.
Partido IsaBuhay IsaGawa – Agila (IBIG-Agila) standard-bearer Misha Solano and Christian Union for Socialist and Democratic Advancement (Crusada) pick Bian Villanueva trailed behind, getting 21.7% and 13.9% of the votes, respectively.
The Ateneo Commission on Elections (Comelec) released the official results of the elections through a memo at 3:34 AM today. However, they released an “updated” version of the memo eight hours later, which corrected some figures and included more information about the constituency count and quota requirements.
The elections were held on February 17, 18, 23 and 24. It was originally planned to happen in two days only, but the Student Judicial Court (SJC) ordered the extension of the voting period so that the entire student body can be accommodated.
The winning candidates for the Top Four positions are as follows:
• President – Drew Copuyoc (IV BS ME), independent
• Vice President – Gio Alejo (II BS HSc), IBIG-Agila
• Secretary-General – Ian Agatep (II BS Mgt), IBIG-Agila
• Finance Officer – Steph Gumaru (III AB EU), IBIG-Agila
‘Real challenge begins’
Copuyoc expressed happiness about the outcome of the elections. “This was one of the longest and most gruelling elections we’ve had in a long time,” he said. “Now that it’s over, the real challenge begins.”
He called on his fellow winning candidates to start working on their campaign promises. “We have one year to do that. Let’s make that year count,” Copuyoc said.
Losing presidential bets Solano and Villanueva both congratulated the winners of the elections.
“I’d like to congratulate all the candidates for participating in the elections,” Solano said. “I hope that the elections was a learning experience for everyone, be it [the Sanggunian officers], the Comelec and the students.”
Villanueva admitted that, for him, there is “a tinge of sadness” to the election results, but also said that he accepts “the decision of the people.”
“I’m still committed to working for the promises I made,” he added. “[I will work to] bring democracy back to the Sanggunian, bring transparency and accountability back to the Sanggunian.”
“I hope that, by my running, the political culture of the Ateneo will not be the same again,” he said.
Villanueva’s running mate, losing Vice Presidential candidate James Roman, echoed his partner’s sentiments. “I wish [the winners] the best of luck,” he said. “I will still continue what I was pushing for and I will not allow this loss to stop me from speaking my mind.”
Secretary-General-elect Agatep, on the other hand, is looking forward to a Sanggunian dominated by IBIG-Agila.
“It’s going to be a challenging year, and with an [IBIG-Agila] majority, we want to show that we will IsaBuhay at IsaGawa,” he said.
Control of the Sanggunian Central Board (CB) has been split between IBIG-Agila and the Alliance of Student Leaders (ASL). The CB is the Sanggunian’s highest policy-making body.
Six ASL CB candidates won in their respective jurisdictions, compared to only four from the IBIG-Agila-supported Nasyonalista coalition.
However, the Top Four Sanggunian officers are also members of the CB, therefore raising the number of IBIG-Agila-held CB seats to seven.
Still, while ASL only has six seats nominally, Copuyoc aligns himself with this coalition, effectively blocking a decisive IBIG-Agila CB majority.
Representative-elect Cheth Mundin (III BS MIS) is the only independent joining the CB next year. Meanwhile, abstain won over IBIG-Agila and Crusada’s respective bets for the Senior School of Social Sciences (SOSS) CB Rep.
Three SBs for IBIG-Agila
IBIG-Agila also had major gains in the different School Boards (SB).
Through Nasyonalista, the party swept the SB races in SOSS and the School of Humanities, and clinched all SB positions in the School of Science and Engineering, except for one.
ASL, however, continued to dominate in the School of Management (SOM), winning all the contested positions in the SB. IBIG-Agila fielded only one SB candidate for SOM.
Meanwhile, even with Vice President-elect Alejo’s decisive victory in the polls, Crusada has announced that it is filing a case against him for “unlawful electioneering.”
In line with this move, Crusada has officially withheld congratulations for Alejo, while it congratulated all the other winning candidates.
“We’ve gathered evidence pinning Gio Alejo for unlawful electioneering,” Crusada Premier Miguel Rivera said. “We’ve been gathering evidence on all possible election violations, but [for] some candidates—while it was pretty obvious that they cheated—people weren’t giving evidence or signing affidavits. As for Gio Alejo, we found some people who are willing to [testify].”
“Walang personalan ito (There’s nothing personal here),” Rivera said. “Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit na may isang kandidato na ginagawa ito. Sayang, kasi maganda sana ang record niya. (It’s saddening and infuriating that a candidate does these things. That’s a shame, because his record is otherwise good.)”
Rivera expressed hope that this will serve as a lesson for Alejo and all the other candidates, and clarified that even if Alejo is prosecuted, Roman would not be able to assume the position.
Sought for comment, Alejo said in a message to The GUIDON, “Just let [Crusada] give their arguments and we’ll discuss them in the SJC. As far as I’m concerned, I believe I have done nothing wrong and my supporters and those who have known me for a long time can attest to that.”
Villanueva, who is also a Crusada ranking officer, said that his party is planning to meet with Alejo.
There were reports that there was a 79% turnout in the recent elections. However, The GUIDON has not yet been able to independently verify this.
Based on raw data from the Comelec, however, it can be seen that the entire voting constituency had a 53.9% turnout. This figure includes the senior votes, which are not considered part of quota. As of press time, there is not enough information to derive the turnout of quota voters (i.e., freshman, sophomore, and junior voters), and the Comelec has not responded to The GUIDON’s queries.
In the Sanggu Bantay Halalan 2011 Facebook group, though, incumbent Sanggunian President Rob Roque commended the student body for a high election turnout.
“I hope this translates to real change in the Sanggunian—not just the incoming administration but also the student body,” he said.
In the same Facebook group, SJC Chief Magistrate Robert Beltejar spoke about how his Court’s order to extend the polls helped bring about the high voter turnout.
“I hope that the higher voter turnout percentage serves to prove the wisdom of the SJC’s decision to order the extension of the election period to afford everyone the chance to vote,” he said.
He also expressed faith in the students and claimed that they are not indifferent to the elections. “I am of the firm belief that the Atenean, given the opportunity, will really go out and exercise his or her right to vote,” he said.
Editor’s Note: A table with the results of the elections will be uploaded here within the day.