Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Robredo took the PH Bar exam 4 times before passing

Rappler.com
FALSE: Robredo took the PH Bar exam 4 times before passing
Robredo acknowledges she flunked the Philippine Bar exam on her first try in 1992. She retook the exam and was admitted to the bar on May 7, 1997, in Naga City.
At a glance
  • Claim: It took Vice President Leni Robredo four attempts before she passed the Philippine Bar exam.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Robredo has admitted to flunking the Philippine Bar exam on her first try in 1992. She retook the bar exam and passed in 1997. The false claim doesn’t cite any reference for the supposed four times Robredo took the exam for lawyers.
  • Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the claim has garnered at least 400 reactions, 60 comments, and 60 shares on Facebook.
Complete details

Facebook pages “Kobe’s page 2” and “Kinigtot TV” claimed in posts on January 14, that it took Vice President Leni Robredo four attempts before finally passing the Philippine Bar exam.

The post contains the text, “Two takes lang daw si lugaw sa Bar but wait! 1992 sya graduate sa law school. 1997 sya nanumpa bilang abogado. So eto ang tamang timeline. 1992 Bar – failed 1993 Bar – failed 1994 Bar – failed 1995 refresher course – requirement po yan pag 3 bagsak ka na sa bar. 1996 Bar -finally she passed! 1997 – signing of the roll and oath taking. Tapos they are comparing to BBM? What a Nerve!

(It only took her two takes to pass the Bar exam? Wait! She graduated from law school in 1992. In 1997, she was sworn in as a lawyer. This is the right timeline: 1992 Bar – failed; 1993 Bar – failed; 1994 Bar – failed; 1995 refresher course – a requirement if you failed 3 times in bar exam; 1996 Bar – finally she passed; 1997 – signing and oath-taking. Then they are comparing her to BBM? What a nerve!)

The Facebook post has a Wikipedia screenshot of the supposed “biography” of Robredo. However, the screenshot did not mention that Robredo took the Bar exam four times before passing.

As of writing, the claim garnered at least 400 reactions, 60 comments, and 60 shares on Facebook.

This is false. Based on available and verifiable information, Robredo passed the Philippine Bar exam after two attempts.

On April 7, 2017, Robredo gave a speech at the commencement exercise of the Republic Colleges of Guinobatan. She admitted that she did not pass the Bar on her first try because she took the exam without preparation. “And as busy as I was being a politician’s wife, being a mother to two daughters already at that time, being a teacher, I took the Bar exam without any preparation. And I just hoped for the best.” Robredo said.

Robredo passed the bar exam on her second attempt.

Earlier, according to a Philippine Daily Inquirer news report on March 31, 2016, Robredo had revealed a consistent account to college graduates in Quezon province: she did not pass the Bar exam on her first try in 1992. She said she had a difficult time juggling her responsibilities as a mother, student, and teacher while preparing for the bar exam. 

She retook the Bar exam and, on her second try, she passed. “I strove to recover. And, on the second try, I finally became a lawyer, right on my birthday,” Robredo said in her Quezon speech.

According to the Supreme Court lawyers’ roll, Robredo was admitted to the bar on May 7, 1997, in Naga City.

There is no public Supreme Court list of how many times a person has taken the Bar, only the roll of lawyers, Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka told Rappler. The Rules of Court says a person who has failed to pass the Bar after three tries shall take a refresher course and can only attempt a fourth try with a certification that they have taken a refresher course.

Rappler previously debunked the claim regarding the missing Bar exam result of Robredo that cast further doubt on her being a legitimate lawyer. – Owenh Toledo, with a report from Lian Buan/Rappler.com

Owenh Toledo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.