Thursday, April 21, 2005



Metro Post
April 17-23, 2005
Page 03

Dumaguete’s two law schools have produced 16 new lawyers.

Foundation University posted an 18 percent passing average with four Bar passers out of 16 barristers. Their new lawyers are Oscar Bokingkito, Arvin Sienes, and Melissa Erames-Tuballa of Class of 2004; and Eliseo Calma Jr., of a previous batch.

Silliman University, on the other hand, reported 12 Bar passers out of 22 examinees, including those who don’t belong to batch 2004. Their new lawyers are: Janette Laggui-Icao, Engr. Sundy Lorence Lachica, Armi Sylvia Lezama, Pristine Ramona, Martinez-Raymond; Jitender Chandiramani, Francis Kabristante, Eduardo Kangleon, Bienvenido Llanes, Jr., Engr. Frustuoso Mongcopa, Jr., Mary Winriett Pono, Ingrid Trixia Rullon, and Gary Guido Tabios.

Judge Eleterio Chiu, dean of the FU College of Law & Jurisprudence, was elated over the increase in their Bar passers. We worked on discipline and dedication by daily checking the attendance of both students and the professors, for instance, and I think it’s working.”

He said they had other bets from FU who didn’t make it. He admitted that many other factors come into play during the Bar. One is how and where the barrister did his review Judge Chiu cited that Tuballa did a self-review, with constant tutoring from her father-lawyer, Councilor Saleto Erames who would read and discuss with her on decided cases; while Bokingkito and Sienes did their review in CRC Dumaguete.

On the other hand, all the other FU law graduates who flunked the Bar had enrolled in review schools by UP, Ateneo, and San Beda. “Maybe because there were many temptations and distractions in Manila, and the law reviewer would have no focus, unlike in Dumaguete.”

Another factor is the regular Bar Operations that law schools conduct for their barristers. Judge Chiu said Foundation University gave moral and financial support to their barristers by providing them free hotel accommodations and meals on the four weekends of September.

He said he had just advised last month close too 20 senior law students to repeat some subjects and not rush on to take the 2005 Bar. “Although I can’t prevent them from taking the Bar if they insist, I don’t want them to bear the stigma of being a bar flunker, so the need for adequate preparation. I hope the succeeding batches of FU law graduates will do even better.”

Meanwhile, SU College of Law Dean Myles Nicolas Bejar said, “Contrary to newspaper reports (not the MetroPost), Silliman posted 12 passers out of 22 barristers.” He explained that the number includes those who belong to previous batches of graduates and the so called “repeaters”.

“It is our policy not to distinguish between the first-takers from the repeaters because if we were to be strict about it, some of those who took the Bar and don’t belong to batch 2004 were actually taking the professional exams for the first time,” Bejar said.

“We did relatively well, and I’m optimistic that in the subsequent years, we’ll even have a better performance in the Bar,” Bejar said. He explained that the batch of 2004 which produced four Bar passers was actually the “last batch under the old system.”

“About four or five years ago, we started a more stringent screening policy upon the students’ entrance in the SU College of Law, “Bejar said. About 25 to 35 students make it in the qualifying exam, and interviews. “By the time they reach their second year, those who don’t measure up to the minimum standards are advised to transfer to other law schools.”

He cited that this year, the SU College of Law only graduated 11 out of more than 30 seniors. “We only pass a few whom we have assessed are capable, and could hurdle the Bar,” Bejar said. In June, only 10 out of the 30 juniors will be allowed to enroll as seniors.

Referring to the number of Bar passers from the SU Law 2004 batch, Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio, a faculty of the College, said: “The Bar is always like that – unpredictable. Probably the results should be taken as a challenge by the faculty and the students to work even harder in improving its Bar exam results.”

She recalled, however, that it was worse during her time when Silliman only had a passing rate of about five percent.

Cadapan was, in fact, the only one from her batch who passed the Bar when they took it in fact, the only one from her batch who passed the Bar when they took it in 1999.

She also noted that among this year’s Dumaguete Bar passers, almost half have lawyers for their parents, and that this may have boosted their chances of making it in the Bar. “Apparently, they grew up in an environment where they must have been discussing matters legally and logically,” she surmised.

Lezama is the daughter of San Carlos City-based lawyer Samuel Lezama; Raymong is the daughter of Provincial General Services Officer Atty. Ismael Martinez; while Tuballa is the daughter of Councilor Erames.

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