Krisel’s got her ‘good character’ stamp, but fate still in UST hands
The outspoken high school salutatorian who drew the ire of her Quezon City school for her controversial graduation speech will have to miss the first day of class in her chosen university.
Krisel Mallari must wait until Tuesday for the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to decide whether or not to admit her as an accountancy freshman because of her late filing of a certificate of good moral character, her lawyer said Friday.
The certificate, one of the documents required by UST, was initially withheld by Mallari’s alma mater, Sto. Niño Parochial School (SNPS). This forced Krisel’s family to raise the issue in the Department of Education and later in the courts. The Court of Appeals (CA) on Wednesday ruled in her favor and ordered SNPS to issue the certificate.
The school complied with the CA ruling late Thursday afternoon but stated in the certificate that it was issued “with reservation, under protest” and “with full intent to assail” the legality and validity of the court order. It noted that the order came out without the appellate court conducting a hearing and that a lower court had denied Mallari’s petition after hearing both sides.
The 16-year-old went to UST in Manila early morning Friday to submit the certificate, the final requirement for her admission into a scholarship program.
But according to her lawyer and Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta, “she is still not enrolled. She was told that the UST council will decide on her case on Tuesday because she missed the July 15 deadline.”
“She is being deprived [the opportunity] to enter the school on time. She will miss the orientation on Monday,” Acosta said in a phone interview.
On Thursday, it first appeared that SNPS was defying the CA’s July 29 order but the school eventually complied by issuing the certificate at 6 p.m. Earlier that day, the CA issued a show cause order on the school for its initial defiance.
Acosta said she would still ask the CA to cite the school for contempt if the belated and reluctant issuance of the certificate would cost Mallari her slot in UST.
The CA’s Second Division noted that the school’s refusal to issue the document appeared to be an “act of vengeance.” While Krisel may be disciplined for transgressions “like any other child,” the school’s actions “should not go to the extent of spoiling or destroying her future,” it said.
In March, school officials stopped Mallari from finishing her graduation speech for insinuating that there were discrepancies in the computation of her grades.