The Supreme Court has announced that a total of 7,146 examinees were admitted to take the 2015 Bar Examinations over the four Sundays of November. This year’s bar exams would be held at the University of Santo Tomas in España Boulevard in Manila.
SC spokesman Theodore Te posted the Bar Bulletin that bears the list of admitted examinees on his Facebook account on Friday.
“UST’s España gates open at 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on examination days and close thirty (30) minutes before the given examination time. After the gates close, no one will be allowed to enter without the permission of the Bar Chairman or in his absence, the Bar Confidant,” according to the Office of the Bar Confidant.
The OBC added that “(f)ailure to take any or a portion of a Bar subject may bar the examinee from taking the rest of the Bar examinations.”
The rules of the exams also state that “examinees assigned to take their examinations at the St. Martin de Porres Building (Medicine Building) and at St. Raymond’s Building (AB/Commerce Building) may enter the campus only through Gates 2 or 3 along Espana Boulevard.”
Last January, the Supreme Court decided “to move the 2015 bar examinations from October to November following the Philippine Association of Law Schools’ recommendation and the academic calendar shift for most law schools and its effect on the examinees’ review period.”
“This year’s Bar Exams, the 114th to be conducted in the country, will be chaired by Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro,” the SC said on its website.
Irene Mae Alcobilla of the San Beda College of Law scored a grade of 85.5 to top the 2014 Bar Exams. Last year’s passing rate was18.82 percent, according to Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, chair of the 2014 Bar exams. The passing grade for the 2014 Bar exams was lowered from 75 to 73 percent.
It was the third time that the SC en banc decided to lower the passing grade, the first one was in 2012 with 70 percent, and 2013 with 73 percent.
Under the Rules of Court, a bar examinee is “deemed to have passed his examinations successfully if (he/she) has obtained a general average of 75%.”
However, the SC en banc has the discretion to lower the passing grade, upon recommendation of the Committee Chairperson.
While no bar examinee has ever reached a 100 percent general average, several bar examinees have garnered perfect and near-perfect grades in specific bar subjects.
In 1930, Tecla San Andres-Ziga (who eventually got elected as Senator) of the University of the Philippines got a grade of 99 percent in Remedial Law. She also placed number one in the bar exams of the same year.
In 1949, Anacleto C. Mañgaser of the Philippine Law School earned 100 percent in Mercantile Law, and placed 1st in the Bar exams of that year. His average of 95.85 percent broke all prior records before it was bested by Florenz Regalado (who became associate justice of the Supreme Court) of San Beda College in 1954. Mañgaser’s bar rating remains the second highest of all time.
In 1953, Juan Ponce Enrile (an incumbent Senator) of the University of the Philippines College of Law, where he graduated salutatorian and cum laude, earned 100 percent in Mercantile Law and placed 11th in the Bar exams of that year.
In 1955, Raul Gonzales (who became Congressman, Secretary of Justice and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel) of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law earned 99 percent in Remedial Law and 95% in International Law. However, he did not place in the top 10.
In 1973, Renato Franciso (Executive Judge of RTC Malolos, Bulacan) of the Ateneo de Manila Law School obtained a perfect score of 100 percent in Criminal Law.
In 1997, Maria Celia H. Fernandez of the University of the Philippines College of Law, where she graduated salutatorian and cum laude, earned 100 percent in Legal Ethics and emerged as the year’s bar topnotcher.
In 2001, Rodolfo Ma. A. Ponferrada, that year’s valedictorian of the University of the Philippines College of Law, obtained a perfect score of 100 percent in Remedial Law, the highest weighted of the bar subjects. The difference (3.75%) between his final bar examination score (93.80%) and that of the second-placer, Jesus Paolo U. Protacio (90.05%), that year’s valedictorian of the Ateneo de Manila Law School and who got a perfect score of 100% in Criminal Law, is the highest of all time.
Notably, that year’s valedictorian of the San Beda College of Law, Adonis V. Gabriel, obtained a perfect score of 100 percent in Political Law and placed 8th (88.25%).The 3.75 percent difference between No. 1 and No. 2 eclipsed the previous highest difference of 2.10 percent registered in 1966 when Roberto V. San Jose (valedictorian of the UP College of Law) garnered a grade of 90.6 percent versus the 88.5 percent of the tied second placers, Ruben F. Balane (salutatorian of the UP College of Law) and Pablo S. Trillana 3rd (valedictorian of the San Beda College of Law).
In 2005, Gladys V. Gervacio of the University of Perpetual Help-Rizal earned a perfect 100 percent in two Bar subjects—Legal Ethics and Labor Law. She placed 6th in the Bar exams of that year.