MANILA,–A total of 3,747 new lawyers are set to take their oath on Monday before the Supreme Court (SC) magistrates to be held in at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
“The oath taking ceremonies will take place on May 22, Monday, at the Mall of Asia Arena, because of the large number of successful candidates, we are to get a bigger venue. Since it is a big venue, we are allowing the successful candidates to bring or invite at least two or three candidates for this momentous event,” Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. said.
In a advisory, the SC said the ceremony will be held during a special SC en banc session at the said venue at 3 p.m.
Successful candidates are required to wear the robes prescribed by the high Court. Proper decorum is also expected of all attendees.
The SC also advised that clearance from the Office of the Bar Confidant is required before the oathtaking. The issuance of clearances at the Supreme Court, Taft Avenue will continue until 3:00 in the afternoon of Sunday, May 21, 2017. Tickets to the oathtaking will also be issued at that time. Each successful candidate is entitled to a maximum of two guest tickets. Unclaimed tickets may be claimed at the ticket booth outside the MOA Arena at the Coral Way Entrance on Monday.
The registration at the MOA Arena will start at 11:00 a.m.
Due to the expected high volume of attendees, long lines leading into the venue, and the traffic leading to the SM Mall of Asia, please allot sufficient travel time and make sure to arrive on time. Candidates are expected to be in their designated areas and seated by 2 p.m. The session will start on time and no late comers will be allowed inside the Arena.
It added that seating area is indicated on the ticket and will be on a “first come, first seated” basis per area, except for the Top Ten candidates and their guests. Guests are not to be seated in the same area as the candidates and are not allowed to enter the area of the candidates. Guests can have their photographs taken with the candidates at the lobby of the MOA Arena before the session starts and after the session ends.
Mobile phones will be allowed inside the MOA Arena, but they must be turned off or put on silent mode upon entry. Basic “point and shoot” cameras are allowed; professional cameras are not allowed inside the venue.
For the first time, no Metro Manila-based school landed in the top 10 of the 2016 Bar examinations, according to results released by SC last May 3.
Velasco said a total of 3,747 out of the 6,344 examinees who took the 2016 Bar examinations passed and this figure translates to 59.06 percent of the total examinees.
“I am happy and pleased to announce that the country now as 3,747 new lawyers. This represents a passing percentage of 59.06 percent. I congratulate and doff my hat to the 3,747 successful candidates. Mabuhay po silang lahat. They deserve to be members of the prestigious legal profession,” Velasco said.
He noted the figure and percentage are higher than the 26.21 percent (1,731 out of 6,605) who passed the 2015 Bar examinations.
He said the highest passing percentage in the history of the bar exams from 1946 to 2015 is 75.17 percent in 1954 while the highest passing percentage with the passing average of 75 percent was attained in 1998 with 39.63 percent.
“In 2016, the passing percentage is definitely the highest with the remarkable 59.06 percent based on the grade of 75 percent,” he added.
Atty. Christina Layusa, the Bar Confidant, pointed out that “it is the first time that not a single Metro Manila based school placed in the top 10.”
She said that University of San Carlos had four graduates in the top 10 while Silliman University had three graduates in the top 10.
Karen Mae L. Calam, a graduate of the University of San Carlos, topped this year’s Bar Examinations with the highest over-all rating of 89.05 percent followed by Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio of Siliman University with 88.95 percent while Fiona Cristy Lao also of University of San Carlos and Athalia Liong of Andres Bonifacio College shared the third spot with a rating of 88.80 percent.
In fourth place is Allana Mae Babayen-On of University of San Agustin with a rating of 88.75 percent followed by Justin Ryan Morilla of Ateneo de Davao University with 88.40 percent, Mark Dave Camaraol of Northwestern University with 88.10 percent, Anne Margaret Momongan of University of San Carlos with 87.80 percent, Jefferson Gomez also of University of San Carlos with 87.70 percent while Nia Rachelle Gonzales of the University of Batangas and Marie Chielo Ybio of Siliman University shared the 9th place with a rating of 87.50 percent.
In 10th place is Andrew Stephen Liu of Siliman University with a rating of 87.45 percent.
The 2016 Bar Examinations are the 115th to be held in the Philippines. The exams were held at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila and were administered by the Office of the Bar Confidant.
For the 2016 bar examinations, a total of 6,924 filed their applications; of this number, 21 applications were denied, 72 applicants withdrew their applications, leaving a total number of 6,831 who were admitted by the Supreme Court En Banc to take the examinations.
Of the 6,831 admitted to take the exam, 477 examinees did not show up on the first Sunday of the bar, leaving 6,354 who actually took the exams on the first Sunday. After the fourth Sunday of the bar, only 6,344 examinees completed the examinations, i.e., showed up for all Sundays. Of this number, 3,747 passed.
The Bar examinations are given 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 examiners, one for each bar subject.
The Chair of the Annual Bar Examinations is given the discretion by the Supreme Court to choose the eight bar examiners who are considered as experts in their particular fields and, during the entire duration of the bar examinations, are bound by strict confidentiality.