Supreme Court Disqualifies Bar Examinees Who Violated Honor Code

“Learn from your mistake, and earn your honor back.”

Supreme Court of the Philippines Building in Ermita, Manila | IMG Source: Rappler

MANILA, Philippines — A Bar Bulletin has been released by Supreme Court Associate Justice and 2020/21 Bar Examinations chairperson Marvic Leonen this Sunday, regarding the disqualification of the Bar examinees who violated the Honor Code.

Leonen announced, “Unfortunately, a number of examinees who were able to take the Bar Examinations violated the clearly published policies of the Office of the Bar Chairperson and their Honor Code,” he stated in the bulletin.

According to BAR BULLETIN NO. 39, S. 2022, the reasons for the disqualification are the following:

  • Examinees who deliberately entered the local testing centers without disclosing that they had previously tested positive for COVID-19,
  • Examinees who smuggled mobile phones inside the examination rooms, and
  • Examinees who accessed social media during lunch break inside the premises.

“For their infractions, I am exercising my prerogative as Bar Chairperson to disqualify these examinees from the 2020/21 Bar Examinations,” stated Leonen.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen | IMG Source: Supreme Court

Firm Execution of Principles with Compassion

It has been a two-year wait for the recent Bar examinees to finally have their tests in the hopes of acquiring their professional license due to the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As time is invaluable, it is undeniable that waiting for the next schedule of examinations and going through the grueling reviewing process all over again can be agonizing.

However, Justice Leonen is firm with letting integrity and discipline rule over the situation – traits Bar examinees will be needing most especially as they practice in the real world.

“I take my constant message of honor to the examinees seriously. I owe it not only to those who risked their lives just to make the 2020/21 Bar Examinations happen despite all odds, but most especially to those examinees who could have taken the Bar Examinations were it not for their positive COVID-19 test results,” the associate justice said.

However, on an encouraging note, he added, “For those who have been disqualified, your disqualification applies only for the 2020/21 Bar Examination.”

“For now, reflect on what you have done, but know that you can still change your narrative. You will not end up as the examinee who lost your honor forever in your desperation to pass an examination. Learn from your mistake, and earn your honor back,” Justice Leonen said in conclusion to the released Bar Bulletin.

As for those who could not take the Bar exams due to testing positive for COVID-19, Leonen had this to say, “For the approximately 219 Bar examinees who were unable to take the Bar Examinations after having tested positive for COVID-19, do not lose hope. Your time will come.”

After the two-day unprecedented digital Bar examination this February 4 and 6, Leonen’s office extended their congratulations to all examinees who have successfully finished the 2020/21 Bar Examinations.

A total of 11,378 examinees took the exams at the 31 testing sites throughout 22 local government units in the country.

In an earlier interview with Leonen, regarding his advice to those taking the Bar examinations, he had this to say, “Make peace on your faiths whatever it is and again to be able to take the Bar meaningfully, understand what is their purpose.”


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