For the 10th time in the 52 years of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) College of Law, a student has topped the 2016 Philippine Bar examinations. Justin Ryan Morilla, a 24-year-old student from Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, placed fifth in what is considered as one of the most competitive professional licensure examinations in the country.
“I hoped for it, of course, and it happened, so I am happy and more than grateful to top the bar. It gives me a sense of pride to do it for the university and for my batch as well,” Morilla expressed in a press conference few hours after the Bar Exam result was released.
Mortilla was among the 24 first time Bar Examinees from AdDU along with eight re-takers. All of the first timers while five out of the eight re-takers passed the said exams. AdDU garnered a 90.63% overall passing rate, with 100% passing rate for first timers, which is considered by the AdDU College of Law faculty as a remarkable achievement.
“This is really one glorious moment for AdDU College of Law,” Atty. Suarez, a former professor of Morilla said.
When asked about his future plans now that he has built his reputation being Top 5 of the Bar Exam, Morilla said that he is working as a legal assistant in a law firm in Davao City and, as of now, he has no plans of leaving the firm.
“One of my advocacy is to tackle illegitimate debt or getting taxes from people to fund projects and these projects are not actually delivered to people who are supposed to enjoy them,” he added when asked about his advocacy as a Law graduate.
This year’s top ten Bar examinees is described by AdDU College of Law Pre-Bar Review Director Fr. Agustin Nazareno as “unprecedented.” Remarkable for some is the absence of graduates from the National Capital Region (NCR) and “top-performing” schools like the University of the Philippines Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of Sto. Tomas.
“I am sure this [results] will be questioned,” he said. “This feature may raise so many eyebrows.”
The last time AdDU graduates have been on the Top 10 Bar Examinees was on 2014 when Atty. Garcia Gil placed fourth.