Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Krisel Mallari, Now Officially a UST Student

Krisel Mallari is now officially a Thomasian! She joined thousands of students and faculty of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) this morning, August 5 2015, in the annual Welcome Walk.

The Welcome Walk is "an annual tradition performed by freshmen of the university where students pass through the Arch of the Centuries, officially branding them as Thomasians. This traditional rite of passage is the Thomasian community’s way of embracing first year students as the youngest members of their family. It also aims to impart a sense of pride and belongingness to the freshmen as they start their journey."

Krisel Mallari at UST Welcome Walk
Photo credit: Facebook / Krisel Mallari; Twitter / The Varsitarian

Aside from the symbolic passing through the Arch of the Centuries, another highlight of the Welcome Walk is the Eucharistic celebration. Rector Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., Ph.D., the main celebrant of the mass, preached a message of encouragement to the university freshmen and gave them a sense of pride in being the newest members of Asia's oldest university.

Watch Krisel Mallari Joins UST Welcome Walk

Now, Krisel Mallari can proudly say that she has been a part of this grand event. Krisel is last year's batch salutatorian of the Santo Niño Parochial School (SNPS), who became popular because of her interrupted speech during the school's graduation ceremony.


Being the Salutatorian and having passed the UST Entrance Test (for freshmen), Krisel qualified for the Santo Tomas Academic Scholarship and will study under the university's accountancy program. The said scholarship, named after the patron saint of the university, is given to students with excellent academic performance.

There is a big difference between the benefits of being a Valedictorian and those of being only a Salutatorian. Valedictorians get 100% defrayal of the total enrollment fees plus Learning Materials allowance for the 1st semester of the first year while Salutatorians only get 50% defrayal of the total fees. Now we can understand Krisel and her parents' concern over the result of her school ranking.

Anyways, Scholars are required to submit a number of documents, among which are, the original copy of Certification from the school that the student graduated Valedictorian/Salutatorian with the school's dry seal and a Certification of Good Moral Character. The second document was where Krisel had a big problem.

Certification of Good Moral Character

Santo Niño refused to issue her a Certification of Good Moral Character because they insist that they could not tolerate Mallari's repeated and false claim in many interviews that she was not given the chance to view the computation of her grades.

Krisel sought the help of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), which filed a petition before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Branch 216. Said court denied her plea. She then went to the Court of Appeals (CA), which ordered the school for the immediate issuance of her GMC certificate.

The school initially defied this order until the Court of Appeals gave the Santo Niño Parochial School 24 hours to explain why it should not be cited in contempt of court for initially refusing to issue Certificate of Good Moral Character (CGMC) to its salutatorian Krisel S. Mallari. The Appeals Court second division issued the order after Mallari, through PAO Chief Persida Acosta, filed an urgent motion after the school refused to comply with the court’s ruling. Finally, at about 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, SNPS issued Krisel the certificate, but it was marked with the notations “with reservation,” “under protest” and “full intent to assail the legality, validity and authority.”

UST accepts Krisel

Because of the markings on the certificate, Krisel was not immediately allowed to enroll. Accountancy Dean Patricia M. Empleo submitted the case to the UST legal council, who deliberated on the matter for several days. On August 3, Monday, the Varsitarian, UST's official student publication announced on Twitter, that Krisel Mallari has been allowed to enroll at the Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy. The Varsitarian also tweeted that, according to Dean Empleo, Krisel was accepted on the merit of the credentials she presented.

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