MANILA - Some 7,200 law graduates from all over the Philippines have started taking the Bar examinations on Sunday at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
About 700 policemen were deployed to secure the area as thousands of friends and relatives of the examinees accompanied the would-be attorneys to UST carrying streamers to show their support.
Authorities have also implemented a traffic rerouting scheme around the 400-year-old university, from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., as well as a parking zone policy around the vicinity.
Among the thousands of Bar examinees were around 150 law graduates from the cities of Iligan and Marawi in Mindanao.
According to Bar operator Sittie Naida Bantuas, reviewing for this year's Bar exams was especially difficult for law graduates from the Mindanao State University's Marawi campus, as they saw their homes destroyed in the war while preparing for the Bar.
Last year, only half of those who took the Bar passed it. For 59-year old Sonny Torres Dalire, he hopes that third time's the charm.
Dalire said that he had to postpone his dreams of becoming an attorney to work overseas to support his family.
The Bar exams are held during 4 Sundays of November each year and cover various areas including civil law, political law, labor law, taxation, criminal law, remedial law, legal and judicial ethics.
Last year's Bar exams set new records as it set the highest passing percentage, and was dominated by law graduates from provincial schools, with none of the examinees from Metro Manila schools making it to the top ten.