‘How sweet it is’: UST Law dean applauds bar topnotcher for ending 23-year drought

December 6, 2023 - 12:12 PM
The University of Santo Tomas Main Building at present, with a slice of its past: a superimposed photo of the rescued and liberated American internees on February 3, 1945, during the month-long battle for the liberation of Manila (Official Gazette Website)

A dean of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) congratulated an alumnus for “ending the drought” in the university’s bar exam record.

In a statement on December 5, Nilo Divina or Dean Divina, dean of UST Faculty of Civil Law, recalled that he was with other UST Law professors at an event in Subic when the Supreme Court released this year’s bar exam results.

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“We could not contain our joy and jubilation after hearing the wonderful news. We all said ‘yes, yes, yes’ and the whole crowd of over 200 pax, initially surprised about our reaction but eventually understood why, shared our happiness and congratulated us,” Divina said.

“The President of the company hosting the event even suspended the ceremony temporarily to announce our historic feat,” he added.

“I eventually had to step out of the hall because I could not hide my tears…tears of joy,” Divina also said.

Divina then congratulated the new lawyers who landed in the Top 20 list of bar exam passers. They are:

  • Ephraim Bie – first place with an 89.2625% rating
  • Pio Vincent Buencamino – eighth place with an 88.25% rating

“Let us savor this moment because today you made history. While we had our fair share of bar topnotchers the past decade, this is the first time in 23 years that we placed first,” the veteran law professor said.

“Congratulations Ephraim for ending the drought, Pio for placing 8th and to the rest of 118 new lawyers for hurdling the Bar, with a passing rate of 85.6 percent,” he added.

Divina thus dedicated this achievement to the Thomasian community and the “entire Dominican community.”

“I have been waiting for 14 years to say this. Kindly indulge me. UST Faculty of Civil Law-number one! How sweet it is,” he said.

Bie also made history for being the fifth UST alumnus who ranked first in the bar exams.

The other prominent UST Faculty of Civil Law alumni bar topnotchers are:

  • Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roberto Concepcion (1924)
  • former Senator Jose Diokno (1944)
  • former President Diosdado Macapagal (1936)
  • Arlene Maneja (2002)

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UST is also the fifth top-performing law school with a 72.39% rating.

The overall top five schools are:

  1. Ateneo de Manila University
  2. San Beda University
  3. University of the Philippines
  4. University of San Carlos
  5. UST