CA lets Sulu State College president keep her seat, tosses out injunction sought by rival
The Court of Appeals (CA) has tossed out a lower court order barring Sulu State College (SSC) president Charisma Ututalum from occupying her seat.
In a recent 8-page decision, the CA Special Former Special 22nd Division granted the petition of Ututalum and the SSC Board of Trustees (BOT) questioning the July 23, 2018 writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Jolo Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3.
The injunction granted by the RTC arose from a petition by Narjati Najar, who was among the candidates shortlisted by the BOT for the college’s presidency.
Najar invoked her status as a faculty member and argued she would suffer injury if she had to abide by the acts of an unqualified president. The CA, however, said this was “purely based on her own personal assumption,” and did not entitle her to the grant of the injunction.
“In the case at bar, private respondent failed to show any right of hers being violated by the SSC-BOT or a right that needs to be protected against SSC-BOT and Dr. Ututalum as president of SSC,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Edgardo Lloren.
Najar claimed Ututalum was unqualified because her deanship of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) College of Nursing was revoked when the institution entered into a consortium agreement with SSC in 2010.
But, the CA said there was no such resolution found in the SSC’s records, making this allegation “tantamount to falsity.”
The CA added that instead of going to the RTC directly, Najar should have made an appeal with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and exhausted administrative remedies to prove that Ututalum was indeed unqualified.
“Moreover, granting further that Dr. Ututalum is not eligible for the presidency of SSC, it does not and will not automatically declare private respondent as the president of the SSC,” the CA also noted.