UST law grad tops Bar exams

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
UST law grad tops Bar exams
Accountant Rosula Calacala, 62, hugs her son at the Supreme Court after finding out that she passed the 2023 Bar examinations yesterday. Calacala, of Northeastern College in Isabela, was a first-time taker. A total 3,812 examinees out of 10,387 passed the 2023 Bar.
Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Only about one-third of examinees passed the 2023 Bar examinations administered by the Supreme Court (SC) in September, with a total of 3,812 or 36.77 percent of the 10,387 examinees achieving and surpassing the 75 percent passing score.

The 2023 Bar results were announced by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando at the SC courtyard along Padre Faura Street in Manila, after the High Tribunal’s en banc session.

Leading the list of passers was Ephraim Bie, a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), with an 89.26 percent score. He was followed by Mark Josel Vivit from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) with a score of 89.12 percent.

Clinching the third place is Frances Camille Francisco from San Beda University with 88.91 percent score, followed by Nathaniel Tang of Aquinas-UST-Legazpi at fourth place with 88.65 percent. He was followed by David Joseph Flores from the De La Salle University Manila, who came in fifth place, with a score of 88.55 percent.

Meanwhile, ADMU was hailed as the law school with the highest passing rate of 94.08 percent, as 159 out of 169 of their Bar takers passed the exam. It was followed by San Beda University with 92.20 percent.

Coming in third is the University of San Carlos with a 90.91 percent passing rate, followed by the University of the Philippines with 89.45 percent, while UST came in fifth place with a 85.25 percent mark.

In an interview with News5, topnotcher Bie said he was “ecstatic” upon learning he garnered the highest score in this year’s Bar exams.

“Right now, we’re ecstatic, of course. We’re praying for it, especially my mother. It is a culmination of hard work and prayers,” he said.

UST Law School dean Nilo Divina thanked God for the “amazing blessing,” especially that their efforts paid off and prayers were heard.

Vivit, who garnered the second highest score, said he was at home with his parents when they learned about the good news.

He said he was not expecting he would be a topnotcher, admitting that he found the exams difficult.

The list of successful examinees was displayed on an LED screen at the SC courtyard. Results were also uploaded on the SC’s website and on its official social media pages X, Facebook and Instagram.

This year marks the first time successful examinees will be admitted to the practice of their profession in the same year they took their examinations. In previous Bar exams, results were released during the first quarter of the following year after the exams.

The oath-taking and roll-signing ceremonies for successful examinees will be held on Dec. 22 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Uphold integrity

President Marcos urged the country’s new lawyers to uphold integrity and ensure every Filipino have equal access to justice. In a post on his official X account on Tuesday, Marcos congratulated the 3,812 passers of the 2023 Bar exam.

“As you begin your unique paths, stand firm in upholding integrity and remain true to the reasons that called you to practice law,” Marcos said. “Remain united in ensuring that every Filipino has the benefit of a fair and equitable justice system,” he added. — Helen Flores

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