Bar exams end peacefully

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    SHOUTING, dancing, and even a mini-brass band added festivity to the last day of the 2019 Bar exams at the University of Santo Tomas that Manila Police District director Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba described as peaceful.

    According to the Supreme Court, the number of examinees went down to 7,691 on the second day of the exams from the initial 8,245 bar candidates.

    More than 500 policemen and other security people were deployed on the last day of the examination, along with K-9 units and police bomb squads.

    Representatives from various law schools as well as their alumni and fraternities and sororities provided snacks, drinks, toiletries and other items as part of their “bar operations.”

    The Urdaneta City University even brought their own brass band all the way from Pangasinan to provide moral support to their law graduates taking the examination while the law schools from the Cordillera region such as the Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, and University of the Cordilleras led participants in indigenous Igorot dances.

    “In terms of security, I can say the conduct was peaceful for the last three Sundays and we are hoping to continue the peacefulness of the examination of our future lawyers,” Balba said.

    This year’s exams covered eight subjects, namely, Political Law, Civil Law, Taxation, Labor Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, Mercantile Law and Legal and Judicial Ethics.

    Meanwhile, Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen yesterday accepted the chairmanship of the 2020 Bar examination committee and vowed to adopt the “two-examiner” rule in next year’s examination.

    Leonen accepted the post from his colleague, Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe, the chair of this year’s exams.

    Former SC spokesman and now University of the Philippines Law professor Theodore Te said Leonen promised the “early uphold of the Bar syllabi as well as the disposition that the Bar is a test for neophyte lawyers.”

    It was Bernabe who initially proposed the adoption of the “two-examiner” rule to ensure the fairness of the Bar and have it approved by the Court en banc.

    Bernabe earlier said that with two experts working and sharing the burden for each Bar subject, the consistency, efficiency and thoroughness of the assessment can be maximized, and the results can be released at a much earlier time. – Cyra Corral and Ashzel Hachero