5,686 take Bar exams in Manila-A A +A
Sunday, October 7, 2012
SOME 5,686 law graduates on Sunday took this year’s Bar exams held at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on the first of four Sundays of October, the Supreme Court (SC) said.
About 50 personnel from the Manila Police District and the National Bureau of Investigation, on top of the SC’s own security force, went to secure the campus where the Bar exams were held for the second year in a row.
Barristers and their supporters started to wait outside the venue an hour before the gates opened at 5 a.m.
SC Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr., chair of this year’s committee on Bar exams, said 5,710 graduates earlier applied to take the exams but five were denied while 19 withdrew.
This year also marked the second time that the multiple-choice questions (MCQ) were used in the history of Bar exams, but some changes had been implemented by the High Court this year.
The exams reverted back to the original schedule where there will be two exams of the eight Bar examination subjects per Sunday, unlike last year where the coverage was drawn up by topics and sub-topics, rather than by simply stating the covered subject.
The first day of exams covered political law in the morning and labor and social legislation in the afternoon. On the second day of the exams, which is next Sunday, the applicants will be tested in civil law in the morning and taxation in the afternoon.
They will take the exams on mercantile law and criminal law on the third day on October 21, and remedial law and legal ethics and practical exercises on the last day on October 28.
Aside from the MCQ portion, each exam will also have an essay test. The MCQ portion would have a weight of 60 percent, while the essay exam part will have a weight of 40 percent. There will also be a performance test (trial memorandum) in the afternoon of the last Sunday.
Unlike last year, examinees who fail to pass in the MCQ portion during checking will be automatically disqualified. This means their essays would no longer be considered.
The Rules of Court provide that “a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examination successfully if he has obtained a general average of 75 percent.”
The rule disqualifying applicants having grades in any subject falling below 50 percent has been abolished since 2010, according to Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant Atty. Ma. Cristina Layusa.
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.
As was the case last year, Bar operations being conducted by law schools and fraternities near the vicinity were prohibited to ensure peace and order in the area.
Earlier, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim issued an executive order prohibiting the sale and distribution of beer and liquor in establishments along the UST perimeter on the four Sundays of the month.
“No store, restaurant, eatery, cafe or any eating places or ambulant vendors shall be allowed to sell, peddle, or offer for drink to any person intoxicating beverages, such as beer, liquors, wine and the like between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. within 200 meters from the perimeter walls of UST,” Lim’s EO 32 read.
The measures were apparently to prevent the repeat of the grenade attack that marred the conclusion of the 2010 exams and left some 50 persons injured.
The order also provides that any violation of its provisions shall have the penalty of a “fine not to exceed P200 or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both in the discretion of the court…”
The first Bar exams were held in 1901, with 13 examinees. (JCV/Sunnex)