2 Law grads from UST-Legazpi among 2019 Bar exam topnotchers

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2020   •   984

MANILA, Philippines – Two law graduates from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Legazpi are among the topnotchers of the 2019 Bar Exams, based on the results released on Wednesday by the Supreme Court (SC).

Mae Diane Azores of UST-Legazpi topped the exams after earning the highest overall rating of 91.0490%.

Also, from UST-Legazpi, Myra Baranda landed in third place after scoring 88.8250%.

Princess Fatima Parahiman of the University of the East claimed the second spot after earning a rating of 89.5230%.

Completing the top 10 are the following:

4th place – Dawna Fya Bandiola of San Beda College-Alabang (88.3360%)

5th place – Jocelyn Fabello of Palawan State University (88.2630%)

6th place – Kenneth Glen Manuel of University of Sto. Tomas (88.1730%)

7th place – Rhowee Deimoy Buergo of Jose Rizal University (87.8710%)

8th place – Anton Luis Avila of Saint Louis University (87.5820%)

9th place – June Dexter Rojas of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (87.5765%)

10th place – Bebelan Madera of University of St. La Salle (87.3795%)

The top 10 list can be viewed through this link.

The full list of 2019 Bar passers can be viewed here.

The SC said 2,103 candidates passed the 2019 Bar exams, representing 27.36% of the 7,685 total examinees.

This year’s passing rate is higher than the 2018 Bar Exams, which listed 1,800 passers out of the 8,155 examinees.

“The court en banc had decided to lower the passing rate from 75 percent to 74 percent in light of among other considerations the discerned for younger and technologically adept lawyers to help different fronts of society as we meet the peculiar challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and transition to the new normal,” Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, head of the 2019 Bar Examinations Committee, said in a video message.

She also reminded the Bar passers that “with the distinction you gained as lawyers comes the concomitant responsibility to further the ideals of justice and the rule of law.”

The high court released the results through its official website on Wednesday, unlike in previous years, due to the community quarantine being enforced by the government to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Traditionally, the SC displays the bar exam results on a large screen on its office grounds in Manila to a crowd of candidates with their families and friends.

SC suspends transfer of convicted inmates to BuCor due to COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the courts in the country to temporarily suspend the issuance of commitment order for the transfer of convicted inmates from detention facilities to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

In a circular posted on the Supreme Court’s Twitter page, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said that all convicted persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who should have been transferred to the BuCor should remain in the facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) from July 29 to August 31, 2020.

This is in line with the request of BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag to the Office of the Court Administrator to temporarily suspend the issuance of commitment orders to BuCor to prevent the further contamination of COVID-19 and to minimize the movement of inmates.

Both the BuCor and the BJMP have recorded cases of COVID-19 in their facilities with reported fatalities.

Detained persons awaiting or facing trials are placed under the custody of the BJMP while those convicted are under the BuCor.

DOJ hopes SC will rule on merit, not personalities behind petitions vs anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday expressed hope that the Supreme Court will resolve the questions on the legality of Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 based on the merits, and not the number and personalities behind lawsuits.

“All these petitions, no matter how many they are, will boil down to a common set of constitutional issues. The Supreme Court will resolve these issues on the merits of the arguments advanced by the parties concerned, and not on the basis of their number or personal or professional stature,” Guevarra said.

At least 16 petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court against the controversial measure which came into effect this month.

Among those who questioned the validity of the law were law professors and former officials of the Executive branch and retired Supreme Court Justices.

The petitioners questioned the vague and broad provisions of the law that may lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and malicious prosecution of innocent people.

Petitioners also urged the high court to declare the entire law unconstitutional and to stop its implementation.

Morales, Carpio, UP law profs file petition vs anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and law professors at the University of the Philippines on Wednesday filed a petition before the high court against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

In their 86-page plea, Carpio, Morales and several lawyers urged the Supreme Court to declare the entire law unconstitutional and to stop its implementation.

Carpio and Morales were joined by UP Law professors Dante Gatmaytan, Jay Batongbacal, Theodore Te, Victoria Loanzon and Anthony Charlemagne Yu, former Magdalo Party-list Representative Francisco Ashley Acedillo and student leader Tierone James Santos.

The petitioners questioned the vague and broad provisions of the law that may lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and malicious prosecution of innocent people.

The group also blasted the powers granted to the Anti-Terrorism Council that, they say, are greater than those given to the president in times of invasion and rebellion, including the power to authorize the arrest and detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days without court intervention.

This is the 11th petition to be filed against the anti-terrorism law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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