Court to QC school execs: Explain in 24 hours why you shouldn't be arrested

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) ordered officials of the Santo Niño Parochial School (SNPS) in Quezon City on Friday, July 31, to explain within 24 hours why they should not be cited for contempt and be arrested for refusing to release the certificate of good moral character of Krisel Mallari.

Mallari, salutatorian of Class 2015, made headlines in March after she diverted from the welcome remarks prepared by school officials and instead hinted at SNPS' lack of fairness. A video that went viral showed school officials cutting short her speech.

The school has since refused to issue Mallari a certificate of good moral character, despite a CA order for it to do so. Without the document, Mallari will lose a scholarship slot at the University of Santo Tomas, another Catholic school, where classes are starting Monday, August 3.

"In this regard, respondents SNPS and registrar Yolanda Casero are directed to file comment on the very urgent manifestation with motion filed by petitioner, Krisel S. Mallari, within 24 hours from notice," the CA's 2nd division said in its two-page resolution released Friday. 

Lawyers from Public Attorney's Office (PAO) who represent Mallari asked the CA on Thursday, July 30, to cite SNPS for indirect contempt and to issue a bench warrant against its officials since the school refused to heed the appellate court's July 29 order to release Mallari's certificate.

On Friday, the CA gave the school and its registrar Yolanda Casero only 24 hours to comment on the motion, taking into consideration that "time is of the essence" since UST will begin its classes on August 3. (READ: CA orders QC school to release salutatorian's docs)

But in a dzMM radio interview on Friday, the school's legal counsel said they have already issued Mallari a certificate but with reservations, since the release of the certificate was forced by the CA. 

Part of the reason why the school does not want to voluntarily issue the certificate is because Mallari supposedly lied about not being shown her grades. The school is keen on filing an appeal.

Mallari first brought the issue to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC). She elevated the complaint to the CA after RTC Branch 216 ruled in favor of the school twice. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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