‘Interrupted’ HS grad speaker sues school
The high school salutatorian who was prevented from delivering her graduation speech has asked the Court of Appeals to order school officials to give her a document she needs for her college application.
In a petition for certiorari and mandamus filed recently, Krisel Mallari—represented by her father Ernesto and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO)—asked the appellate court to reverse a lower court ruling denying her petition to compel Santo Niño Parochial School to issue her a certificate of good moral character.
In March, a video of Mallari delivering her speech before she was stopped by her class adviser and school officials went viral after it was uploaded on social network sites. She later said in subsequent media interviews that her speech would have touched on alleged irregularities in the computation of her grades. The school, however, denied her claim and accused her and her father of being difficult.
In Mallari’s petition, Santo Niño did not explain why it refused to issue her a certificate, even arguing that it was not required by law. The PAO, however, argued that Mallari was deprived of due process.
Mallari needs the certificate to get into the University of Sto. Tomas which has given her until May 31, later extended to this month, to submit the requirement.
After Santo Niño’s refusal, the PAO filed on Mallari’s behalf a complaint for injunction and damages in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 against the school and its registrar Yolanda Casero.
While the case was being heard, the Department of Education (DepEd) ordered the school on May 18 to issue the certificate. The Quezon City court later denied her petition, saying the DepEd order had rendered it moot and academic. It also denied a motion for reconsideration while the school, despite the DepEd order, has refused to issue the certificate to Mallari.
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