The UST-Legazpi campus in Legazpi City, Albay (


(UPDATED, 3:20 p.m.) A graduate of University of Santo Tomas (UST)-Legazpi topped the 2019 bar examinations, results of which were released online earlier today.

Mae Diane Azores placed first with a score of 91.049 percent, followed by Princess Fatima Parahiman of the University of the East with 89.523 percent.

Myra Baranda, another graduate of UST Legazpi (formerly Aquinas University), placed third with a score of 88.825 percent.

Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe, the bar exams chairperson, said 2,103 examinees passed the bar exams, a 27.36 percent passing rate.

Bernabe, in a Youtube video message, said the passing score was lowered to 74 percent because of the “discerned need for more younger and technologically adept lawyers to help different fronts of society” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rest of the top 10 are: Dawna Fya Bandiola, No. 4, 88.336 percent (San Beda College-Alabang); Jocelyn Fabello, No. 5, 88.263 percent (Palawan State University); Kenneth Glenn Manuel, No. 6, 88.173 percent (University of Santo Tomas-Manila); Rhowee Buergo, No. 7, 87.871 percent (Jose Rizal University);

Anton Luis Avila, No. 8, 87.582 percent (Saint Louis University); Jun Dexter Rojas, No. 9, 87.5765 percent (Polytechnic University of the Philippines); and Bebelan Madera, No. 10, 87.3795 percent (University of St. La Salle).

UST-Manila hosted the bar exams in November 2019. A total of 8,245 law graduates registered for the annual examinations spread over four Sundays.

The 2020 bar exams chairperson, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, also announced that the 2020 exams has been postponed to 2021 because of the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. (