Order arrest of Catholic school officials, salutatorian asks court
MANILA, Philippines – Represented by his father in the case, the controversial salutatorian of Santo Niño Parochial School (SNPC) asked the Court of Appeals to warrant the arrest of SNPC officials for refusing to give her certificate of good moral character despite an earlier CA order directing its release.
In an urgent manifestation with motion filed Thursday, July 30, the lawyers for Krisel Mallari from the Public Attorney's Office asked the appellate court to cite SNPC for indirect contempt and issue a bench warrant against its officials, including the registrar.
"Up to this time and despite receipt, there is no effort on the part of respondents to comply with the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction. Thus, it is clear that respondents continuously, deliberately, and stubbornly refuse, without any valid reason, to comply with the Honorable Court’s directive," they argued in the motion.
Mallari, the SNPC student who lodged the legal action before the CA, had delivered a speech during the 2015 SNPC graduation ceremony with vague statements hinting at alleged unfairness within the school.
Mallari was class salutatorian tasked to deliver the welcome remarks.
In the video, she was forced by school officials to cut her speech short.
Mallari passed as an incoming accountancy major at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), a Catholic university that is the first in Asia and the second in the world to be granted Pontifical status.
Despite a certification from the Department of Education that Mallari has no derogatory record, UST required the certificate of good moral character issued by her high school. Without the document, she will lose her slot in the UST program.
Classes at the university starts on Monday, August 3.
Mallari had first pleaded for her school document before a local court, which ruled in SNPC's favor.
In her 10-page motion, the PAO lawyers led by Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta argued that the SNPC is "bent on denying petitioner Krisel of her bright future."
They said the Mallari father and daughter already personally appeared before the school and provided SNPC the CA order, in the process confirming that the school had already been earlier served the order.
Mallari's lawyers also provided the school's counsel with the copy, learning at the time that even the counsel had received the official copy from the court.
Given the remaining two days before Mallari can "process her admission to UST," the Mallari camp argued that "time is of the essence."
"As the petitioner repeatedly emphasizes, even a day or two of delay would spell doom on Krisel’s future with UST. A month or so of delay would entirely put her education at a halt," the motion read.
They argued that Mallari would also "avail of the 50% scholarship to which she is entitled to as a Salutatorian," if only she could enroll. – Rappler.com