01 March 2012

Senior Citizen Outshines Younger Examinees


At age 64, Rodolfo Aquino, who placed 10th in the 2011 Bar examinations, admitted that his memory was not as sharp as before.
He had a hard time recalling what he learned in his four years at the San Beda College of Law in Alabang.
“I was struggling with the part on remedial law because it is very procedural and of course it is very technical. You really need a sharp mind to get through that subject,” Aquino told the Manila Bulletin.

Aquino holds the distinction of being the oldest examinee that made it to the 2011 Bar’s Top 10.
When his classmates informed him that he was one of the topnotchers, Aquino said he could not believe it at first.
“I was watching DVD at our house in Ayala, Alabang, when my classmates texted and called me that I was one of the top 10 in the Bar examinations. Of course I was really happy,” he said.
“My wife was really worried [if I passed or not] than me. I just decided to watch the DVD and did not think about what the outcome of the exams will be. I said, if it happens then it happens,” he said.
Aquino took his law studies at San Beda while teaching at the University of the Philippines College of Business Administration. At least 43 of the 48 students of San Beda College of Law - Alabang passed the examinations.
Aquino, who is about to retire from teaching in UP next school year, said he will probably apply in one of the law firms of his fraternity brothers “to gain experience.”
He might continue teaching, this time at San Beda, as he was invited by their dean to be a lecturer.
Aquino, a member of the Sigma Rho Fraternity, believes that his being a senior citizen will not be a hindrance to his being a practicing lawyer.
“Even if I’m already old I think I can still help my country,” Aquino said, noting that his expertise include commercial law and economic law.
Raoul Angelo D. Atadero, a law graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, was first place in the exams with a rating of 85.5363.
Atadero said he was home watching television when he heard Supreme Court Justice Roberto Abad read his name as Bar topnotcher.
He said he was surprised because he was expecting to fail in the Commercial and Mercantile Law subjects.
“My mom was beside me, she was the one crying. It gave me goosebumps,” Atadero said.
He said he has been working with the Puno and Puno Law Office for the past two weeks as a legal assistant but he expects to move up as junior associate after passing the Bar.
“My goal is private practice. I will pursue a specialization on corporate law,” Atadero said.
Like Atadero, second placer Luz Daneille Bolong has also been working with the law firm as a legal assistant.
Bolong, who is also from Ateneo, said she had just come from Mass at the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran with her sister when she learned the good news.
Her sister, Marie Diane,who took up her law at the Arellano University, also passed.
“We were both in shock. It’s hard to explain, I wasn’t expecting (that I would place second). I mean, you work hard so that you will pass the bar, but its an extra blessing to learn that you placed second,” Bolong said.
By LEONARD D. POSTRADO
mb.com.ph

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