The court made its statement even as Malacañang offered its ‘‘fervent prayers” to the expected 9,000 examinees and aspiring lawyers to give it their best shot.
“As you take another step on the ladder of your legal career, we offer you our fervent prayers,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement Sunday.
READ: Bar exams at UST start; alcohol ban takes effect—PNP
Panelo, a lawyer and concurrent Chief Presidential Legal Counsel of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the Bar examinations for aspiring lawyers were “arguably the hardest” among other licensure examinations, calling them “one of life’s greatest equalizers.”
The high court, which administered the conduct of the Bar exams, said no untoward incident was reported inside and around the vicinity of the venue where 400 policemen were deployed by the Manila Police District.
Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, chairman of this year’s Bar exams committee, met with the law school deans for their traditional breakfast where they discussed the questions for the first day of the exams.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen also visited the venue to inspect the security operations of the police and also to personally wish the examinees well.
“Eat well, sleep well. Don’t panic and take the exam one question at a time,” Leonen, a former law dean of the University of the Philippines, told the Bar takers as he greeted them at the gate of the venue.
As in previous years, Bar send-off operations were held by law schools, fraternities and sororities, organizations as well as families and friends for the examinees on the first day of the four-Sunday exams.
Banners, balloons and even religious images greeted the Bar hopefuls during the Bar operations before they headed to the venue.
The Manila City government imposed a liquor ban within the 100-meter radius of UST and a “no parking” policy along España and Dapitan Streets during the conduct of the exams.
“No tent and tarpaulins” and “no loud music” policies at the vicinity of the venue were also imposed for the four-Sunday exams.
Medical personnel were also deployed for emergency situations.
For the first day of the four-Sunday tests, the examinees faced political law in the morning and labor law in the afternoon.
For the second Sunday on Nov. 11, they will take the exams in civil law and taxation before facing mercantile and criminal laws on the third Sunday. On the fourth and final Sunday, the examinees will take on remedial law and ethics.
In the 2017 Bar exams, a total of 1,724 passed and became new lawyers or 25.5 percent of the total of 7,227 takers who completed the exams in November last year.
Additional security measures were put in place since the grenade explosion that marred the Sept. 2010 Bar exams at the De La Salle University in Manila.
In the past four years, the examinees were required to use transparent or see-through bags for purposes of convenience and security.
In the 2013 Bar exams, the high court reverted back to its previous format, which was predominantly essay-type. They consist of 80 percent essay-type questions and 20 percent multiple-choice questions.
The Supreme Court also lifted its five-strike rule in the Bar examinations, a policy implemented since 2005 in which examinees who flunked five times are disqualified from further taking the Bar exams. With Nat Mariano
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