6 Bar 2016 topnotchers join OSG

MANILA-- Six out of the 12 topnotchers in the recent Bar examinations will be joining the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

Solicitor General Jose C. Calida said that Alanna Khio, (2nd place), Athalia Liong (3rd place), Justin Morilla (5th place), Mark Dave Camarao (6th place), Nia Rachelle Gonzales (9th place) and Andrew Stephen Liu (10th place) in the recent 2016 bar examinations will reinforce OSG's thrust to make the OSG home to the best and the brightest lawyers in the country.

Six topnotchers from the most recent bar examinations will be joining the OSG in its pursuit of social justice as the Republic Defender and the Tribune of the People, Calida said in a statement.

According to Khio, joining the OSG will help her realize her full potential.

In order to become the best lawyer I can be, I need to be trained in the best law firm in the country, the second placer from Dipolog City said.

For her part, Liong, who also hails from Dipolog City, the OSG will give her the best training, experience and exposure in order to hone her full potential as a lawyer. Liong, married with three children, placed 3rd in the 2016 bar examinations.

For Camarao, 6th placer from Ilocos Norte, joining the OSG is a lifelong dream and to act as counsel for the Republic of the Philippines is, to him, the highest form of service.

Gonzales, married with two kids, who is currently working as a court decongestion officer in Batangas, said that joining the OSG is the best way to serve the country.

Liu from Dumaguete said when I got invited to join the OSG, there was no doubt that I would accept the invitation. What better place to start your career than the best law firm in the country.

For the first time, no Metro Manila-based school landed in the top 10 of the 2016 Bar examinations, according to results released by Supreme Court last May 3.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno urged the country's new lawyers who took their oath last May 22 to empower the provinces with better legal services, particularly the poor sectors of the society.

We need to talk about encouraging more Mindanao, Visayas and non-Metro Manila lawyers to consider staying and rendering service where they are.I understand that for a young lawyer wishing to provide his or her future family access to top-level education, Metro Manila is the business residence of choice. But, I ask you, batch 2016, to consider that it has been the historical neglect of the countryside that has created the understandably myopic view of the problem of justice in our country, the magistrate told to 3,747 new lawyers who took their oath last May 22 before the Supreme Court (SC) magistrates sitting in special en banc session held at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

She said that in pushing for reform we must recognize the historic inequalities that have disadvantaged many regions and populations outside Metro Manila and other major urban centers � and in so doing seek to rectify them on all fronts: through rules and procedures, as the Court is doing; through continuous improvement of legal education throughout the country; and also through the presence of lawyers such as yourselves in regions that sorely need practitioners who are dedicated to addressing these inequities and contributing to their local communities.

Sereno said that country need lawyers who will not back down from serving the rule of law even at great personal cost; who will not bend to pressures to set the law aside in favor of expediency; committed to justice for all; dedicated to equal rights for the oppressed and disenfranchised; who serve where the need is greatest; who contribute to the conversation not only of their local community but to the national conversation as well, of how we might better serve our people.

My dear batch of 2016, I call upon you to commit yourselves with all passion and drive to join us in changing this. For this is the heart of our reforms: that we must work to ever more closely hew to our people's deep desire for justice throughout the entire Philippines, for all kinds of Filipinos.

According to 2016 Bar Chairman and Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, the country needs more lawyers today to attend the needs of the marginalized.

Velasco said that he is truly happy with the result of this year's bar examinations with the high passing rate of 59.06 percent with total of 3,747 out of the 6,344 examinees who took the 2016 Bar examinations.

He noted that this is the second highest passing rate in the history next to the 1954 Bar examinations with 75.17 percent passing rate. The all-time low was set at 16.5 percent in 1999.

Karen Mae L. Calam, a graduate of the University of San Carlos, topped this year's Bar Examinations with the highest over-all rating of 89.05 percent.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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