PhiLSat slated next month not covered by TRO—LEB

The Legal Education Board yesterday said the administration of the Philippine Law School Admission Test next month will push through as scheduled since it is not covered by the temporary restraining order recently issued by the Supreme Court.

“The administration of the Philippine Law School Admission Test on April 7, 2019 has not been restrained and will proceed as scheduled, The TRO issued by the SC covers only LEB Memorandum Circular No.18, Series of 2018 which prohibits the admission and enrolment as freshmen students in the basic law course beginning in Academic Year 2018-2019 of those without the required PhilSat eligibility,” the LEB said in an advisory signed by its chairperson Emerson Aquende.

“There is no TRO as far as the administration of the PhilSat on April 7, 2019,” it added.

The LEB said in compliance with the TRO, all those “who have taken the PhilSat, and those who have taken the same exam did not pass, and those who have passed the PhilSat but have expired certificates of eligibility, college honor graduates without certificate of exemption, and college honor graduates with expired certificates of exemption” will be “conditionally admitted” and enrolled as freshmen in the basic law course in the incoming 1st semester of Academic Year 2019-2020 under the same terms and conditions in Memorandum Order No. 11, Series of 2017.

In an injunction order, the SC enjoined the LEB from implementing Circular No. 18 dated June 8, 2018, effective immediately and until further orders from this Court.”

The said memorandum removed the conditional enrolment of law students.

However, the memo added that “Those who have not taken the PhilSAT prior to the beginning of the Academic Year 2018 to 2019, or who have taken the PhilSAT but did not pass, or are honor graduates in college with no PhilSAT Exemption Certificate, or honor graduates with expired PhilSAT Exemption Certificates may now be allowed to conditionally enroll as incoming freshmen law students under the same terms as LEB Memorandum Order No. 11. Rey E. Requejo

The SC held oral arguments on the issue based on the petition filed by former Makati RTC Judge Oscar Pimentel and a group of law students who questioned the constitutionality of Republic Act 7662 (The Legal Education Reform Act) and asked the Court to issue an injunction to stop its implementation and the PhilSat.

Pimentel and the other petitioners told the SC during the oral arguments last month that the exams deprived those who wanted to become lawyers if they failed to pass it.

The petitioners sought to restrain the implementation of LEB Memorandum Order No.7 Series of 2016 which scheduled the conduct of the PhilSAT.

According to the assailed memorandum, aspiring law students will be required to take the PhilSAT before they can be admitted to any law school.

The LEB said schools will not be allowed to enroll students who did not take the PhilSAT and that if they failed to comply, they will be subject to possible sanctions, including the payment of fine of up to P10, 000.

But it explained that schools can ask aspiring law students to take complementary exams such as to test the ability to write in English through an essay or conduct a panel interview if they want so as not to curtail their academic freedom.

Four PhilSat exams were already conducted by the LEB in April and September 2017 and in April and September 2018 in Baguio City, Metro Manila, Legazpi City, Cebub City, Iloilo City, Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City.

Topics: PhilSat , Legal Education Board , Philippine Law School Admission Test , temporary restraining order , Supreme Court
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