THE SOLE INDEPENDENT candidate for Student Council (SC) President, Kyrelle Dianne Tolete, has withdrawn her Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) before the San Beda-Electoral Board (ELBO) this August 29 due to “personal reasons.”

Tolete, who comes from the Department of Political Science, told The Bedan that the decision to withdraw her candidacy was a “difficult one.”

Nag-forward ako sa ELBO ng letter, nandoon ‘yung primary intent or reason–nakalagay d’un, and I gave my consent naman na i-disclose nila ‘yun… It’s more of [a personal decision] kasi meron akong medical operation in the coming weeks,” said Tolete.

She added that her recovery from the operation would affect her campaign for the SC presidency, saying that “ganoon naman ‘yung vision in the long run: pa’no mo maha-handle din ‘yung responsibilities din should you be the next Student Council President – and ‘yan ‘yung pinaka-primary. And then at the same time, medyo may conflict din kasi with regard to room-to-room campaigns, but rest assured naman sa end namin, we prepared talaga for like campaign paraphernalia, ‘yung mga narrative, etc.”

Through Resolution No. 08-2324, published through their official Facebook page, the ELBO accepted Tolete’s withdrawal, after having intially deemed her as a qualified candidate for SC President during their screening process.

Ayrah Celline Asis, ELBO chairperson, says that the CAS Omnibus Election Code provides for the withdrawal of any candidate “as long as they file a written declaration to that effect prior to Election Day.”

“We accepted Mx. Tolete’s decision to withdraw after having followed all necessary procedures, as is custom for any candidate for the SC,” said Asis.

With Tolete’s withdrawal, Eunice Bermudez of the San Bigkis Party (SBP) is the only remaining candidate for the Second Special Election for SC President. This is the third straight election this year that the SBP fielded a candidate for President in.

Following her withdrawal, Tolete says that she feels an “ounce of regret,” adding that “siguro ‘yung definition ko of ‘clarion call’ this time it’s for, not for myself din but at least ibigay ko rinyung service ko outside of Bedan community. So hindi naman matatapos siya with the Student Council Presidency, I still work with – siyempre babalik ako sa executive committees and sa Student Organization Circle din.”

Asked about her view of Bermudez as the only remaining candidate for SC President, Tolete told The Bedan that she wants to “keep an open mind.”

“Let’s see, kasi meron pa naman tayong days to also see her platforms and projects for CAS, and ayun naman, ‘yung desisyon ko naman it’s really up to let’s see pa sa MDA [Miting de Avance],” said Tolete.

Bedans in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) earlier voted to abstain from voting for any candidate for the SC Presidency twice: first, during the 2023 CAS General Elections and then at the First Special Election for SC President.

The 2023 Student Assembly convened last June 26 voted to hold a second and final special election for SC President in conjunction with the regular First Year Representative Election this September.

Photo courtesy of Kyrelle Tolete