Many Manila law schools’ topnotchers with highest passing rate in bar exam were from Vismin – lawyer

A few days after the 2016 bar exam results were released, several comments on Facebook went viral for sowing doubts about the ‘standards’ of the exam and questioning why no one from the usual Metro Manila-based law schools were in the top 10.
There were four graduates from the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu and three from Silliman University in the top 10.

Some of the netizens who couldn’t believe the results said the following:

“Paghahanda para dumami mga polpol abogago advantage ng mga taga-visaya at Mindanao,” a Facebook user said.

“Baka puro taga visaya nag check,” yet another said.


“Nagduda nga ako sa result bakit walang manila law school na nag top. Parang meron kasi gusto ipalabas eh parang gustong ipalabas na dahil rally lang ang inatupag,” said another Facebook user commented.


One also said, “I can’t believe that none from reputable law schools made it to the top 10. Maybe they started counting from the bottom?”


But lawyer Daryl Bretch M. Largo spoke up against those who had doubts about the bar exam results last year.

He sought to clarify things with his Facebook post, adding that it is not actually surprising that Visayans topped the exams because the bar exam history in the country showed that many topnotchers from Manila law schools actually hailed from the Visayas and Mindanao.
“To those who have doubted the results of the 2016 Bar Exam (although I can tell that many of you have not even entered law school), I think you should have been surprised that “no Manila law school made it to the Top 10 this year” rather than being surprised that “Visayans or Cebuanos dominated the Top 10”. There is a difference between the two. Please check your logic and then clarify your position. Because, if you still think that it is very surprising that Visayans or Cebuanos excelled in the Bar exams, then, you are either ignorant or idiot,” Largo said.

Here are some of the bar topnotchers with origins in VisMin that Largo named, although they went to Manila-based law schools:

  • Paulino Gullas of UP (93% in the 1916 Bar) was from Cebu City.

Meme Buster also found a Philippine Star article about how Gullas was also the first Cebuano to place first in the bar exams. He was the brother of Vicente Gullas, who founded the University of the Visayas.

  • Richard Chiu of Ateneo de Manila (92.85% in the 1984 Bar) was from Dumaguete City.

You can find him in this list of lawyers who are members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Many Manila law schools

  • Cosme Rosell of UP (92.475% in the 1978 Bar) came from Daanbantayan, Cebu and had resided in Cebu City

Many Manila law schools

  • Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez of UM (91.3% in the 1938 Bar) was from Medina, Misamis Oriental.

A Philippine Star article said that Pelaez was born in Medina, but finished his Associate in Arts at the Cebu Junior College, now the UP Cebu campus. He became the Vice President of the Philippines as President Diosdado Macapagal’s running mate in 1961.

  • Leonor Dicdican of UP (91.2% in the 1995 Bar) is from Cebu City

Many Manila law schools

  • Roque Desquitado of UP (90.9% in the 1923 Bar) was from Bantayan, Cebu

Another Philippine Star article showed that Desquitado earned the title of the “first Cebuano outside of Cebu City to top the Bar Examinations” for placing first in the 1923 bar exams.

  • Filomeno Pascual of PLS (90.3% in the 1938 Bar) was from Sagay, Negros Occidental

Many Manila law schools

  • Victor dela Serna of San Beda College (89.8% in the 1965 Bar) was from Tagbilaran, Bohol

Many Manila law schools

“Surprised?” he wrote.

Largo slammed those who questioned the bar exam results and told them not to ‘act like racists’ and celebrate the Filipinos’ greatness instead.

“So, don’t act like racists! You are all Filipinos! Celebrate this nation’s greatness. And start by travelling (avail of promo fare, if you will) to other parts of the country, like Cebu CITY. You’ll be amazed at how great this country is and how sensible and hardworking the people are outside your small, narrow and limited circle,” Largo added.

You can find more Bisdak in the list of Philippine Bar Examination topnotchers compiled by Wikipedia, too.

No leakage

In November last year, the Supreme Court also denied the leakage in the 2016 bar exams.

This came after rumors surfaced on social media about some questions having been leaked.

“The findings show that there is no truth to any of these unsubstantial social media rumors,” said Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, 2016 Bar Exam chairperson, in a statement read by SC spokesperson Theodore Te.

“There is no iota of truth to these statements. These unfounded reports that are being irresponsibly circulated on social media only undermine the efforts of the Bar chairperson to safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of the Bar exams,” the statement further read.

Sources: ( , , , , )

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