‘Independents’ affiliated with KAISA - Costales

“The label 'independent' is only a mere technicality,” said BJ Costales, independent candidate for councilor in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council (CSSPSC) elections.

Costales said on Feb. 11 that the College Student Electoral Board did not allow the independent candidates to run under the banner of MagKAISA-CSSP because it had not met the deadline for organization recognition early in the first semester. MagKAISA was formed in Sept. 9, 2009.

But the independent candidates are still running as a slate, said Costales.

“We could post our own slate posters. We could have our own GPOAs na magkakasama kami. So talagang technicality lang yung independent kami,” said Costales.

Costales cleared accusations of partisanship, saying they were not trying to hide their affiliations with university-wide political party KAISA (Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan ng Sambayanan).

“Obviously, from the set of members that we have (to) the set of principles that we espouse, we are a member organization of KAISA,” said Costales.

To set them apart from the competition, Costales said they offer “student governance,” aside from the established principles of representation and leadership in the council.

Under MagKAISA-CSSP, the CSSPSC would act as a “delegating (and) coordinating body” for organizations to engage in student service.

“Governance does not rest on just one institution, it rests on all of us,” said Costales.

Costales said Steph Tan winning the chairperson position in 2007 was proof that the students were looking for an alternative.

Meanwhile, Buklod-CSSP president Anna Lopez said she believed in the principles her party espoused and their candidates base their projects on these principles.

“Kaya nagtatagal (ang Buklod-CSSP bilang majority party) ay dahil patuloy tayong nag-iinovate para mas maadress ang needs ng students,” said Lopez.

Sengson said MagKAISA-CSSP should have used the time since their formation to show the change they envisioned, adding that activities should not be limited to the electoral campaign.

“We see (the elections) as a culmination of all campaigns,” said Sengson. “Kailangang yung araw-araw na pagpasok ng skwela ay ginagamit mo para mapagunite ang mga tao.”

Costales said they did not consider themselves an alternative but a “fresh voice through all the noise, disunity and strife” in the

“Let the voters decide if we are really the alternative. Masyado naman kaming messianic pag sinabi namin na kami ang solusyon,” said Costales.

Costales said they decided to use “MagKAISA-CSSP” as their campaign tagline for now. With about 35 members, MagKAISA-CSSP plans to file for organization recognition next year.

As of presstime, Prof. Cherrie Joy Billedo, OSA Coordinator and College Secretary and CSEB Chairperson Cantiller could not be reached for comments. ▪

Article by: Mico Chopitea