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COURT NEWS FLASH

1,731 NEW LAWYERS; U.P. GRAD TOPS THE BAR

May 3, 2016

The Chairperson of the 2015 Committee on the Bar Examinations Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro announced today in a press briefing at the Supreme Court today that a total of 1,731 out of the 6,605 examinees who took the 2015 Bar Examinations passed. This figure translates to 26.21% percent of the total examinees who completed the 2015 Bar Examinations.

Justice De Castro also announced that the oathtaking of the successful Bar candidates will be on June 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

The Bar Confidant, Atty. Christina Layusa, on the same occasion, announced that bar passers may secure their clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant during office hours, 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., beginning on May 16, 2016 until June 15, 2016.

2015 Bar Topnotchers
A graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law, Ms. Rachel Angeli B. Miranda topped the 2015 Bar Examinations with the highest over-all rating of 8 7.40%. This year’s top 10 examinees are: 

 

Name

School

Rating

1st Place

 MIRANDA, Rachel Angeli B.

University of the Philippines

87.4000%

2nd Place

PLAZA, Athena C.

University of San Carlos

87.2500%

3rd Place

AGUILAR, Jayson C.

University of the Philippines

86.7500%

4th Place

 ARCEO, Reginald M.

Ateneo de Manila University

86.7000%

5th Place

 ANDERSON, Mandy Therese

Ateneo de Manila University

86.1500%

6th Place

 HERNANDEZ, Giselle P.

University of the Philippines

86.1000%

7th Place

 BUSTAMANTE, Darniel R.

San Beda College-Manila

85.9000%

8th Place

 JACILDO, Jecca B.
LAUT, Soraya S.
TIU, Jericho R.

University of San Carlos
Xavier University
Ateneo de Manila University

85.8500%

9th Place

 HERNANDEZ, Jedd Brian R.

University of the Philippines

85.8000%

10th Place

BUENAVENTURA, Ronel U.
FERNANDO, Lara Carmela G.

Bulacan State University
San Beda College-Manila

85.7500%

2015 Bar Examiners

The bar examinations are held only once every year at a designated venue under the supervision of the Supreme Court which designates an incumbent Justice to chair a committee consisting of eight (8) examiners, one for each bar subject.  The examinable subjects are: Political Law and Public International Law (15%), Labor and Social Legislation (10%), Civil Law (15%), Taxation (10%), Mercantile Law (15%), Criminal Law (10%), Remedial Law (20%) and Legal and Judicial Ethics (5%). Handpicked by the bar committee Chairperson and bound by strict confidentiality, the examiners are considered as experts in their particular fields.
This year’s examiners are:

Hon. Amparo Cabotaje-Tang
Presiding Justice, Sandiganbayan

Political Law and Public International Law

Atty. Theodore O. Te
Assistant Court Administrator and
Chief, Public Information Office,
Supreme Court of the Philippines

Labor Laws and Social Legislation

Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno
Partner, Jimeno and Cope Law Firm

Civil Law

Hon. Amelia R. Cotangco-Manalastas
Associate Justice, Court of Tax Appeals

Taxation

Atty. Rafael A. Morales
Managing Partner
Sycip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan Law Firm

 

Mercantile Law

Hon. Efren N. Dela Cruz
Associate Justice, Sandiganbayan

Criminal Law

Hon. Alexander G. Gesmundo
Associate Justice, Sandiganbayan

Remedial Law

Hon. Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega
Associate Justice, Sandiganbayan

Ethics and Practical Exercises

 

Brief History of the Bar Examinations in the Philippines

The bar examinations are given in the course of one month, spread over four (4) Sundays and are the only professional licensure examinations which require the examinees to answer open-ended questions in long hand.  These questions, formulated by the bar examiners for each subject and selected personally by the bar committee Chair on the day of each examination, are formulated to test analytical ability, facility in expression in terms of written argument, comprehension of basic principles of law, and grasp of jurisprudence.

Due to the scope and difficulty, the bar examinations are regarded as the most prestigious professional licensure exam in the country. It is also the only licensure examination not administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

The 2015 Bar Examinations are the 114th to be held in the Philippines and were held on November 8, 15, 22, and 29 at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.  The exams were administered by the Office of the Bar Confidant headed by Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa. 

Statistics for the 2015 Bar Examinations

This year’s percentage of successful examinees is higher than the 18.82% percent who passed the 2014 examinations. This percentage represents 1,731 successful examinees out of a total 6,605 who completed all eight subjects, which is higher than the 1,126 out of 5,984 who passed the 2014 bar examinations.

For the 2015 bar examinations, a total of 7,193 filed their applications; of this number, 18 applications were denied, 29 applicants withdrew their applications, leaving a total number of 7,146 who were admitted by the Supreme Court En Banc to take the examinations.

Of the 7,146 admitted, 523 examinees did not show up on the First Sunday of the bar, leaving 6,623 after the first Sunday. After the fourth Sunday of the bar, only 6,605 examinees completed the examinations. Of this number, 1,731 passed.

Of the 6,623 who took the examinations, 3,217 were new candidates while 3,406 were repeaters, i.e., those who had taken the bar examinations at least once previously.

Comparative Results for the Bar Examinations
The Office of the Bar Confidant, which administers the annual bar examinations and is the repository of the records and data on bar admission, provides these comparative statistics on the Bar examination results since 2000:

Year

Number of Passers Out of the Total Examinees

Passing Percentage

2000

979 out of 4,698

20.48%

2001

1,266 out of 3,849

32.98%

2002

917 out of 4,659

19.68%

2003

1,108 out of 5,349

20.71%

2004

1,659 out of 5,249

31.61%

2005

1,526 out of 5,607

27.22%

2006

1,893 out of 6,187

30.60%

2007

1,289 out of 5,626

22.91%

2008

1,310 out of 6,364

20.58%

2009

1,451 out of 5,903

24.58%

2010

982 out of 4,847

20.26%

2011

1,913 out of 5,987

31.95%

2012

949 out of 5,343

17.76%

2013

1,174 out of 5,292

22.18%

2014

1,126 out of 5,984

18.82%

2015

1,731 out of 6,605

26.21%

The list of successful bar examinees may be viewed at www.sc.judiciary.gov.ph, the official website of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Atty. Te explained that “Each bar examination must be considered unique in itself when we look at the comparative statistics across the years. Unlike other licensure examinations which employ a standard set of questions and the same set of examiners across a period of time, the bar examinations for each year is practically a new exam because the composition of the Committee differs—from the Chair, who has absolute and sole discretion to choose the questions to be asked, to the eight examiners, who are the ones who correct the notebooks. So, when we look at a lower or higher percentage of passing for each year, it may be difficult to compare the two examinations as the questions are not the same, neither is the emphasis given by the Chair to particular topics; the appreciation of the answers, the point spread for each number during the checking by the examiners for each year will also differ.
Atty. Te, the examiner for Labor Law and Social Legislation for the 2015 bar examinations, was also an examiner in the 2014 bar examinations for Criminal Law.


Reforms in the Bar Examinations

Atty. Te also mentioned that the Supreme Court is considering proposals to reform the bar examinations, including reducing the number of examinable subjects and possible regionalization. These proposals come from the deans of the law schools, who are regularly consulted by the Chair of the Bar Examinations Committee over the years.

According to Atty Te, “There is, as yet, no final decision by the Court on this matter. However, the Chair of the 2016 Bar Examinations, Justice Velasco, has already met with the law school deans and any changes will be announced in due course.”

Among the changes being discussed is the procedure for application as well as record keeping and data processing.  Atty. Te mentions that “consistent with the thrust of the Court to ensure greater efficiency and also to minimize delays, proposals to automate the process of application to take the bar examinations as well as digitize the lawyers’ list are being considered, within the framework of the Judiciary’s Enterprise Information Systems Plan (EISP).” ###