bar exams

No postponement of 2020-2021 Bar Exams – Justice Leonen

John Michael Mugas
No postponement of 2020-2021 Bar Exams – Justice Leonen
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, Chairman of the 2020-2021 Bar Exams, tells Bar-takers: 'Hoping for the postponement is the worst strategy ever'

PANGASINAN, Philippines – The 2020-2021 Bar Examinations will push through on January 16 to February 6, 2022, Bar Chairman Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said on Thursday, December 2.

“Until we announce, you expect that it will happen. January 16 [is the first Sunday] of the Bar Examinations,” he said during a forum organized by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter on Thursday.

“Hoping for the postponement is the worst strategy ever,” Leonen advised Bar-takers. “Thinking that it would be postponed is the wrong strategy ever,” he also said.

The Supreme Court postponed in September the 2020-2021 Bar Examinations scheduled for November because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It had canceled the 2020 examinations.

Leonen said that more than 11,000 law graduates have applied, making it the “biggest batch” to take the Bar Exams ever.

In postponing the November 2021 exams, Leonen said they had to follow the data presented by the “three experts” hired by the SC.

“It took me two to three weeks to analyze the data in order to make a suggestion to the court,” he explained.

The SC will deploy at least 7,000 personnel to ensure the success of the Bar Exams in 2022. It will also be the first time the exams will be held in 31 local testing centers.

Even with reports abroad of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, Leonen said that “the experts are now saying that January 16 seems to be clear.”

The new variant has not been “detected yet here and nobody knows yet, but let’s see,” he said.

The Bar Exam chairperson also announced that all Bar takers would be asked to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test for the four Sundays of the exams. The SC will shoulder the costs to be incurred for the mandatory antigen testing, he added.

Even fully-vaccinated Bar Exam takers would still have to undergo the antigen testing, he stressed.

He urged Bar takers to get vaccinated so as not to “endanger” the lives of the other examinees.

Leonen said that they would be releasing more guidelines to guide the examinees as to “what you can bring, where you will stay, and many other details on COVID-19 precautions that we are going to take.” –

John Michael Mugas is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.