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Opinion

The Bar examinations again

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

Today, and on the next three Sundays in October 2014, some 6344 examinees, both fresh and repeaters, are taking the Bar again inside the hallowed campus of the University of Sto. Tomas. We have been involved directly in the Pre-Bar Review as Professor, Bar Reviewer and Bar Coach, and we are helping the candidates from at least three universities where I am teaching in the College of Law. Assuming that twenty percent shall make it, only 1628 will take their oath in 2015, and some 4716 shall have to take the Bar again and again. Today, they will tackle Political Law in the morning and my subject, Labor Law in the afternoon. Next Sunday, it will be Civil Law and Taxation. On the third, it shall be Commercial Law and Criminal Law. The last one is the toughest, Remedial Law and Legal Ethics, my other subject.

There is a common notion, albeit ostensibly mistaken, that our country has an oversupply of problems because we have an oversupply of lawyers. I beg to disagree. Shakespeare was not referring to the Philippines when he wrote: "The first thing we need to do is to kill all the lawyers." The truth of the matter is that we have many lawyers who have been canonized saints. It was a lawyer, St. Joseph of Arimathea, who donated his tomb for the burial of our Lord, Jesus. And, to set the record straight, lawyers do not lie. They just ask the questions. It is the witnesses who commit perjury by telling lies under oath. Lawyers can be disbarred and prosecuted if they commit felonies.

It is not true that we have too many lawyers. In fact, for a nation of 100 million people, we have only barely 200,000 active law practitioners. Many lawyers are judges, prosecutors, NBI agents, even military and police officers, bureaucrats and administrators. A lot are politicians, diplomats, businessmen, and plain citizens. Cebu has a lot, many of whom are still very young. We have a good share of famous Cebuano members of the Bar. Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. got second place in the 1903 Bar. Paulino Gullas got first place in 1916 with a rating of 93. Jesus Garcia was number 10 in 1946 with a rating of 88.25, Pablo Garcia was number 3 in 1951 (91.5%), Pablo John was fourth in 1994 (86.51).

The highest grade in the Bar was obtained by Justice Fliorenz Regalado (96.7) in 1954. Senators J Salonga and J Diokno tied at 95.3 in 1944. Diokno was allowed to take the Bar, the only one, who never had a law degree. He was also a CPA topnotcher at age of 17. Three Presidents topped the Bar: F. Marcos in 1939 (92.35), D Macapagal in 1936 ( 89.85 ) and M Roxas in 1913 ( (2).  M Quezon was fourth in 1903, E Quirino, second in 1915 and Carlos Garcia of Bohol got sixth in 1933. franklin Drilon was number 3 in 1969, Leila de Lima was number 8 in 1985 and Enrile was eleventh in 1953 but got 100% in Commercial Law. Oscar Glovasa of Bohol was number one in 1968, the first graduate outside Manila who topped the Bar.

Justice Pedro Yap was first in 1946 (91.7).The daughter of Justice Isaias Dicdican, Leonor, a CPA topnotcher, topped the 1995 Bar ( 91.2), UV produced many Bar topnotchers, more than ten, all in all,  including Dean Teddy Almase in 1964 (fourth) and Tommy Pacquiao in 1978 ( third). USC has had no less than 18 Bar topnotchers, USJR has 10, UC has 5, and USP has one. We have good law schools in Cebu with dedicated law professors. But most of our graduates are working students. I was a Court Interpreter all the time that I studied in UV but, God is good. We made it without taking any Pre-Bar Review. Becoming a lawyer is a long and arduous struggle. Lawyers are in charge of one of the noblest missions of man: the administration of justice.

 

attyjosephusbjimenez@yahoo.com

 

BAR BAR REVIEWER AND BAR COACH CARLOS GARCIA OF BOHOL CEBU CIVIL LAW AND TAXATION COLLEGE OF LAW COMMERCIAL LAW COMMERCIAL LAW AND CRIMINAL LAW LAW LAWYERS PRE-BAR REVIEW
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