FOLLOWING the release of the 2017 Bar results on Thursday, April 26, Malacañang expressed hope that many of 1,724 examinees who passed will seek careers in government.
Speaking to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said bar passers are most welcome in joining the Duterte administration, as their "idealism, integrity, and competence" could help in bringing "genuine reforms" in the country.
"We hope that many of our country's new lawyers will pursue a career in government so that they may take part in helping us with our shared goal of creating genuine reforms for the nation," he said.
"Their idealism, integrity, and competence are most welcome under the current administration," he added.
Five of the 10 topnotchers of the 2017 Bar examinations are graduates of schools outside Metro Manila.
Topping the list is Mark John Simondo, a graduate of the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
With a grade of 91.05 percent, Simondo bested a total of 6,748 law graduates who took the examination last November 2017 at the University of Santo Tomas in Metro Manila, according to 2017 Bar chairman Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.
Three others in the Top 10 are graduates of the University of San Carlos in Cebu: Christianne Mae Balili, 2nd place with a grade of 90.8 percent; Ivanne'DLaurielle Hisoler, 4th with a grade of 89.55 percent; and Rheland Servacio, 7th with a grade of 89 percent.
Placing 3rd is Camille Remoroza from Ateneo de Davao University with 90.70 percent.
Three University of Santos Tomas (UST) graduates also landed in the top 10 while two are from San Beda College Manila and one from St. Mary's University.
Bersamin said a total of 1,724, or 25.55 percent of the examinees, passed the 2017 Bar.
Here is the complete Top 10 list:
1. Mark John Simondo - 91.05% (University of St. La Salle)
2. Christianne Mae Balili - 90.8% (University of San Carlos)
3. Camille Remoroza - 90.7% (Ateneo de Davao University)
4. Ivanne'DLaurielle Hisoler- 89.55% (University of San Carlos)
5. Monica Anne Yap - 89.45% (San Beda College Manila)
6. Lorenzo Luigi Gayya - 89.10% (University of Santo Tomas)
7. Rheland Servacio - 89% (University of San Carlos)
8. Krizza Fe Alcantara-Bagni (St. Mary's University) and Algie Kwillon Mariacos (San Beda College Manila) - 88.9%
9. KIinton Torralba- 88.65% (University of Santo Tomas)
10. Emma Ruby Aguilar - 88.40% (University of Santo Tomas
The passing rate, roughly one out of four examinees, is less than half of the 2016 passing rate of 59.06 percent, where 3,747 passed out of 6,344 examinees.
The 2016 rate was one of the highest passing rates in recent history, according to the Supreme Court. Karen Mae Calam of the University of San Carlos Cebu topped the 2016 Bar. (Keith Calayag and Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)