Ateneans top 2010 Bar exams
- Edu Punay () - March 18, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines –  A total of 982 examinees led by graduates from Ateneo de Manila passed the 2010 Bar examinations, the Supreme Court (SC) announced yesterday.

Five Ateneo graduates led the successful batch of graduates out of the 4,847 who took the exam last year that was marred by a grenade explosion that left some 50 people injured.

The court said the successful examinees represent only 20.26 percent of the total number of law graduates who took last year’s Bar exams, the lowest average in 10 years.

Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, as chair of the 2010 Committee on Bar Examinations, announced the results at 5:30 p.m. before a crowd visibly smaller than previous years.

Cesareo Antonio Singzon Jr. of Ateneo de Manila University Law School topped the Bar exam with an average score of 89 percent.

The last to top the Bar from Ateneo was Mercedita Ona in 2007.

Singzon was followed by schoolmate Filemon Ray Javier with an average of 86.95 percent.

In third place was Paolo Carlo Tolentino of Arellano University with 86.8 percent.

Janette Ancog, of Ateneo de Davao University, placed fourth with 85.9 percent, followed by another Ateneo graduate, Johana Sunga, in fifth with 85.85 percent.

Four bets from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law managed to make it to the top ten.

Krizelle Marie Poblacion was in sixth place with 85.65 percent, Ma. Christina Ortua and Krystal Lyn Uy tied for seventh place with 85.05 percent, and Joanna Eileen Capones in eighth place with 84.8 percent.

Another Ateneo bet, William Benson Gan, placed ninth with 84.75 percent.

Glenn Carampatana of University of San Carlos and Darren Salipsip of Arellano University were tied in 10th place with 84.55 percent.

Singzon admitted his sacrifices paid off.

“I had a lot of sacrifices, especially with my girlfriend,” he said.

Singzon claimed he ignored his friends and girlfriend to stay focused on reviewing for the Bar.

“When you make sacrifices, it would really pay off eventually,” he said.

Asked what he considers could be key to his success, he replied: “Hard work and prayers.”

Singzon, who also topped his class in Ateneo, said he was not expecting such an outcome and admitted having a hard time taking the exams held over four Sundays of September last year.

“They said I was number one in Ateneo so I could be number one. But honestly, I did not expect this because it was very difficult, especially remedial law,” Singzon remarked.

Singzon, the 20th graduate of Ateneo law school to top the Bar, said he is planning to pursue a master’s degree in law abroad. He has been working with Caguioa and Gatmaytan Law offices.

Justice Morales announced that the oath taking of successful Bar candidates has been set for 10 a.m. on April 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

From a total of 5,038 applicants to the 2010 Bar exams, seven were disqualified while 19 withdrew. The remaining 4,847 examinees completed the four Sundays of the examinations.

The justices had decided during special full court session to lower to 72.5 percent the passing grade from the previous 75 percent.

Compared to previous years, the decoding of the examination booklets of the examinees is now being done earlier.

The SC also is set to issue a new policy that there will be no more disqualification for the next succeeding Bar exams.

Associate Justice Roberto Abas will head the next examination committee for the Bar, which will apply new rules and format that would include multiple-choice type of questions.

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