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More bar topnotchers from Bacolod are hoped for by the judge.

With the start of the 2020/2021 Bar Exams on Friday, Executive Judge Raymond Joseph Javier of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in this city expressed optimism that examinees from this city will perform well.

In an interview, Javier remarked, “I’m praying that (examinees from) one of our legal schools here would make it to the Top 10 if not the number one.”

The approved local testing center in this city is the University of Saint La Salle (USLS), whose law graduate Mark John Simondo topped the 2017 Bar Examinations.

Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the two-day 2020/2021 Bar Examinations, with Day 2 slated for Sunday, are the first regionalized test for prospective attorneys in the country, as well as the first to employ the digitalized exam platform Examplify.

There are 169 examinees in Bacolod, 40 of whom are from USLS and the rest from the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos and other institutions.

“The first advancement made by today’s Bar Exams is that they are totally computerized. It’s a far cry from the old notebook, pen, and paper system (test). At the same time, the surveys will be downloaded for the first time from the internet. “Perhaps the Bar Exams of the Future,” Javier speculated.

Simondo became the first topnotcher in 15 years to break the 90% mark at the 2017 Bar Examinations.

On April 26, 2018, the Supreme Court announced the results, with Simondo receiving the highest score of 91.05 percent.

In the meanwhile, according to the Supreme Court Bar Bulletin 37, series of 2022 on Covid-19 protocols, completely vaccinated examinees must acquire a negative fast antigen test result within 48 hours before 4 a.m. on Friday.

Those who tested positive were still able to get a confirmatory RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test, but where local governments consider a positive antigen test result to be conclusive, these examinees were excluded from testing facilities.

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