CPA board Top 14 becomes Bar exam topnotcher

Mike Frialde and Artemio Dumlao (2007) wrote the following about Noel Neil Malimban, a law graduate of the University of the Cordilleras (UC), formerly Baguio Colleges Foundation, who topped the Bar exams with an 87.6 percent grade.

A law graduate from "the little school from Baguio" upstaged the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University in the 2006 Bar examinations, which made history with a record high 6,187 examinees.

Malimban's feat marked the second time the Baguio Colleges Foundation topped the exams. The UC's Janet Abuel topped the 1998 Bar examinations.

Malimban also placed 14th in the exams for certified public accountants after graduating from St. Louis University in Baguio City.

Deborah Acosta of UP and Ricardo Pilares of Ateneo de Manila tied for second place with a grade of 87.4 percent.

Placing third was Erika Ana Andrea Jimenez, also from the Ateneo, with a score of 86.60 percent.

Fourth was Maria Charizza Carlos (Ateneo) with 86.10 percent, followed by Gina Lyn Rubio from the Far Eastern University with 85.75 percent.

At sixth place was Anjuli Larla Tan from Dr. V. Orestes Romualdez Educational Foundation Inc. with 85.70 percent, followed by Karen Gaviola from the University of San Carlos with 85.68 percent.

Placing eighth was Ismael Al-Shwaid from the University of Cebu with 85.65 percent, followed by Timothy Joseph Mendoza from UP with 85.55 percent.

At 10th place was Alain Charles Veloso, also from UP with 85.55 percent.

About 30.6 percent or 1,893 out of a record-high 6,187 examinees passed the examinations, whose results were released by the Supreme Court yesterday.

"Two Cordilleran Bar topnotchers in an eight-year span are a fraction of the resources of the finest universities of the land, the capabilities of our students are showing up in national venues," said Jesus Benjamin Salvosa, chairman and chief executive officer of UC.

"We are proud to serve the proud people of these mountain highlands," he said.

"He (Malimban) is a very brilliant but quiet student," described UC College of Law Dean Reynaldo Agranzamendez.

"We are rejoicing with Noel for this significant feat," he said.According to Agranzamendez, UC has produced a long list of Bar topnotchers.

He cited human rights lawyer Arthur Galace, who placed third in the 1976 Bar examinations.

In 1961, former police general Prospero Olivas was 10th placer. Former Baguio congressman Honor Aquino was a graduate of the school and placed 10th place in the 1963 Bar exams.

In 1995, Lyssa Pagano placed 10th.

Agranzamendez said what probably gives UC the consistent edge is its "inspiring atmosphere."

"The faculty are committed, so the students are inspired to excel," he said.

Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez said a total of 1,893 successfully hurdled the Bar exams. A total of 6,345 took the exams in four successive Sundays in September last year.

The number of examinees who took the exams was a record high, according to the Supreme Court, since 1901 when the first Bar Examinations were held with only 13 examinees.

"Matagal ko nang pangarap na magkaroon ng anak na abogado. This is the first time that she took the Bar exams. I thank God at nakapasa ang anak ko sa Bar," said Cynthia Carlos, mother of Maria Carlos who placed fourth.

The Supreme Court discarded the use of paper on a bulletin board and utilized electronic media by displaying the complete list of Bar passers through an LCD screen in a scrolling Power Point presentation placed at the front yard of the SC premises in Padre Faura street in Manila.

Last year, a total of 1,526 out of 5,607 examinees from around 100 law schools nationwide hurdled the 2005 Bar Examinations. The number of those who passed represented 27.22 percent of the total examinees.

In 2004, a total of 1,659 out of 5,249, or 31.61percent of those who took the Bar Exams passed. A total of 1,108, or 20.71 percent, of the 5,349 who took the Bar Exams in 2003, passed. In 2002, 4,659 took the Bar Exams with 19.68 percent, or 917 examinees hurdling it.

In the 2001 Bar Exams, a total of 1,266, or 32.89 percent, out of 3,849 examinees, passed. A total of 979 out of 4,698 examinees, or 20.84 percent, hurdled the 2000 Bar Exams.

Last year's Bar Examinations marked the second time that the "five-strike" rule is being implemented. This rule limits to five the maximum number of times a candidate may take what is reputed to be the most grueling government-administered test.

SOURCE: Mike Frialde and Artemio Dumlao (2007). Baguio graduate tops 2006 Bar. April 4, 2007 - 12:00am.