WATCH: BAR TOPNOTCHERS | VisMin schools lock NCR universities out of Top 10

May 3, 2017 - 12:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Graduates – and new lawyers – from Visayas and Mindanao topped the 2016 bar exams, dominating a topnotchers’ list traditionally led by NCR-based universities.

Results of the November 2016 bar exams released by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 3, showed four of the top-notchers graduated from the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City.

They are Karen Mae L. Calam (Top 1 – 89.05%); Fiona Cristy D. Lao (Top 3 – 88.80%); Anne Margaret E. Momongan, (Top 7 – 87.80%); and Jefferson L. Gomez (Top 8 – 87.70%).

Three other top-notchers graduated from Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

They are Alanna Gayle Ashley B. Khio (Top 2 – 88.95%); Marie Chielo H. Ybio (Top 9 – 87.50%); and Andrew Stephen D. Liu (Top 10 – 87.45%).

The Top 3 examinee, who tied with USC’s Lao, is Athalia B. Liong, who graduated from Andres Bonifacio College in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

The Top 4 – Allana Mae A. Babayen – with a rating of 88.75% – graduated from the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City.

The Top 5 – Justin Ryan D. Morilla – with a rating of 88.40% – finished his law degree from Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City.

The Top 6 – Mark Dave M. Camarao – with a rating of 88.10%, graduated from Northwestern University in Laoag City, Ilocos Sur while the Top 9, who tied with Silliman’s Ybio is Nia Rachelle M. Gonzales, who finished her law degree from the University of Batangas in Batangas City.

“It is the first time that not a single Metro Manila based school placed in the top ten,” said Christina Layusa, deputy clerk of court and bar confidant, in a press release issued Wednesday.

Results of the bar exam can be found at

A total of 3,747 examinees or 59.06 percent of the 6,344 takers passed the exam, which was much higher than the 2015 passing rate of 26.21 percent (1,731 examinees out of 6,605).

The oath-taking of bar passers will be held on May 22, 3 p.m., at the Mall of Asia Arena In Pasay City. Registration will start at 11:00 a.m.

Bar passers can secure their clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant from May 8 to 21 from 8 a.m. onwards, according to Layusa.

The 2016 bar exam was the 115th to be held in the country. The exam covered the following subjects: Political Law and Public International Law, Labor and Social Legislation, Civil Law, Taxation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, and Legal and Judicial Ethics.