Withdrawal of damage suit of 2 graduates vs STC approved

21 September 2012

THE Regional Trial Court has finally approved the withdrawal of the damage suit against St. Theresa’s College (STC) Cebu.

Executive Judge Silvestre Maamo Jr. granted the compromise agreement between STC and its two alumnae.

School lawyer Joan Largo welcomed the granting of deal, which she said would put an end to the controversy.

“This is already a signal for us to put a closure to this issue even as we assure you that we would bring to heart the lesson learned there from of parental responsibility and good cyber citizenship,” Largo told a press conference yesterday.

But Cornelio Mercado, counsel for the two remaining petitioners, said the amended complaint is not settled yet.

“The case will go on a full blast,” Mercado told Sun. Star Cebu by the phone.

Mercado pointed out that one of the two graduates who withdrew their case was a party to the amended complaint.

Mercado, however, would not say whether Judge Maamo admitted or not their amended complaint.

Of the four girls who filed the petition against STC, two of them later withdrew from pursuing the case.

Petition for injunction

The original petitioner, assisted by his mother, filed the petition for injunction with damages in court after the school banned her from graduation rites on March 29.

The school punished five graduates and barred them from attending their graduation rites for allegedly violating a school rule that bans wearing of skimpy attire.

Their photos, which showed one of them holding a cigarette and a bottle of liquor, were posted on Facebook.

Although Judge Wilfredo Navarro issued a temporary restraining order allowing the graduates to march, the school still refused to let them get inside the school premises last March 30.

The school management, however, denied it defied the court order and argued that the

Judge Navarro had no jurisdiction over the case.

Three other graduates later filed in court the amended complaint with motion for intervention.

End to issue

Assisted by her mother, the original petitioner and school officials entered into a settlement deal to put an end to the issue.

The mother, upon her daughter’s request, said she was not interested to pursue the case.

The school administration, in exchange, waived all its counterclaims “in the spirit of Christian reconciliation.”

“Parties are desirous of putting an end to litigation,” the compromise deal read.

At the press conference, Atty. Largo described the case settlement as a “judicial imprimatur.”

“The approval of the agreement would mean the dismissal of the main case since parties

are no longer interested in prosecuting the petition,” said Largo.

Largo said they are waiting for the resolution by state prosecutors of the remaining criminal complaints of unjust vexation and child abuse that the parents of four high school graduates filed against the school.

The prosecutors likewise have yet to resolve the complaint for violation of violating Republic Act No. 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, that STC filed against the graduates’ parents over alleged “bad parenting.”

The confidentiality provision of Republic Act 7610, or Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004, bars media from divulging the names of complainants in their reports.