DepEd launches probe on salutatorian Krisel Mallari’s speech
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has launched an investigation on the case of Krisel Mallari, the salutatorian of Sto. Niño Parochial School (SNPS) in Quezon City, who was stopped by school officials from delivering a speech.
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net on Tuesday, DepEd Quezon City Division officer-in-charge Helen Grace Go said SNPS was given 48 hours to explain its side on the issue.
“We have given the school a memorandum asking them to explain within 48 hours what really happened,” Go said.
The memorandum, dated March 24, 2015, was addressed to Mrs. Herminia Catud, the principal of SNPS.
“It has come to the attention of this Office that the delivery of the Salutary Address of a certain Miss Krisel Mallari was stopped by the school during the Commencement Ceremonies on March 21, 2015, which has caused various reactions from the public.”
“In view thereof, you are directed to submit a report on the incident within 48 hours from receipt of this memorandum,” the document obtained by INQUIRER.net read.
Go narrated that the incident reached her office Monday afternoon. She went to the school immediately but no school official was available to comment, thus the issuance of the memorandum.
She said Mallari’s case had also been brought up to the DepEd National Capital Region Division and the National Office.
Meanwhile, DepEd spokesperson Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said that the investigation would focus on the content of Mallari’s speech and the controversies surrounding it.
“The investigation shall focus, among others, on what was actually said, or prevented to be said, by the student, and the other matters raised or were not raised in her speech, like the alleged issues on transparency on the computation of her grades,” the DepEd statement said.
Umali said the department “shall always respect the rights of our students to freely express their thoughts and feelings in light of existing laws and the provision of the Constitution and in a manner and forum that is appropriate.”
DepEd will also probe if the school acted “within or beyond its authority” when it interrupted Mallari from finishing her speech.
The incident, which happened last Saturday, went viral on social media and on YouTube. It has drawn various reactions from netizens, including support for Mallari and condemnation to the school.
Mallari’s speech hinted of alleged cheating involving the school’s valedictorian.
The school has already released its official statement on the incident through its Facebook account Monday night, saying the student’s speech was inappropriate for the occasion and that allegations hurled by Mallari’s camp were baseless.
SNPS also decried an alleged harassment by Mallari’s father of teachers who were made to sign a document pertaining to his daughter’s grades.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.