Ateneo grad tops Bar exam; passing rate lowest in 13 years-A A +A
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
MANILA (Updated) - Justices of the Supreme Court had to lower the passing rate from 75 percent to 70 percent in a special session on Wednesday just to come up with nearly 1,000 passers of the 2012 Bar Examinations.
Bar Exam chairperson Associate Justice Martin Villarama said examinees had difficulty in answering questions on Labor Law, Criminal Law, and Remedial Law.
"Actually if we didn't lower the passing rate, only 361 will pass the test. We're (justices) not cold hearted especially with the upcoming Holy Week," he said.
Only 949 or 17.76 percent of 5,343 takers passed the Bar, arguably one of toughest licensure examinations in the Philippines. The lowest passing percentage was recorded in 1999, when only 660 or 16.59 percent made it to the roll of attorneys.
Ateneo de Manila University topped the examinations for the third straight year as Ignatius Michael Ingles got a rating of 85.64 percent. He was followed by fellow Atenean Catherine Beatrice King Kay with 84.72 percent.
"Making the top 10 is I think everyone's dream. It was always a goal for me to be there," Ingles told Sun.Star.
April Carmela Lacson from the University of the Philippines placed third (84.48 percent), Xavier Jesus Romualdo from Ateneo was fourth (84.10 percent) and Maria Graciela Base (UP) and Jose Maria Angel Machuca (Ateneo) were in fifth place with a rating of 83.99 percent.
Rounding out the top 10 were Patrick Henry Salazar (UP, 83.71 percent), Ralph Karlo Barcelona from (Aquinas University, 83.43 percent), Marvyn Llamas (Ateneo, 83.29 percent), Carlo Martin Li (Ateneo, 83.27 percent), and Francis Paolo Tiopianco (UP, 83.25 percent).
UP, a traditional producer of topnotch law graduates, returned to the top 10 after failing to make the cut in 2011.
No one from Cebu’s law schools made it to the top 10. In Cebu, the USC College of Law recorded a passing rate of 68.8 percent, with 53 passers out of 77 examinees.
Juan Antonio and other Cebuano Jose Aaron Pedrosa Jr. were among the 949 new lawyers.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to law school, until I was in law school,” said Oposa. “I wasn’t sure I was going to pass law school until I graduated and I wasn’t sure I was going to be a lawyer.”
Only a few examinees from Davao City passed the October 2012 Bar exams. Out of the 129 examinees, only 32 or 24.8 percent made it and became new lawyers.
The Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) has 26 passers out of 52 examinees, registering a passing rate of 50 percent; 24 out of the 34 first timers, and only two out of the 18 retakers passed the exams.
The University of Mindanao (UM) College of Law has six passers out of 77 examinees. Of the six passers, four are fresh graduates.
"Basta mubo gani ang national passing percentage, expected na nga mubo pud ang passing rate sa mga schools (if the national passing rate is low, it’s expected that passing rates per school are also low)," said lawyer Roland Pondoc, assistant dean of UM College of Law.
Lawyer Jonathan Jocom of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Davao City chapter said he is still confident that Davao City produces good and competitive lawyers.
"Our law schools here in Davao City are among of the best in the entire Philippines," Jocom said.
The SC said oath-taking of Bar passers will be on April 24 at 2 p.m.at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Bar passers may secure their clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant during office hours, Monday to Friday, beginning April 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In determining the average, subjects in the examinations are given the following relative weights: Political and International Law, 15 percent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 percent; Civil Law, 15 percent; Taxation, 10 percent; Mercantile Law, 15 percent; Criminal Law, 10 percent; Remedial Law, 20 percent; and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 percent, for a total of 100 percent.
Scores in the multiple-choice questions will carry a weight of 60 percent, while those of the essay-type examinations will be given a weight of 40 percent in computing a candidate’s final grade.
The exam was taken in four Sundays of October last year at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. (Virgil Lopez/Arianne Caryl N. Casas of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)