Silliman U celebrates its three Bar topnotchers

By: Contributor - Contributed Artticle | May 03,2017 - 11:31 PM


DUMAGUETE CITY– Exuberant Dumagueteños filled social media pages with congratulatory messages for the three Bar topnotchers from Silliman University, as well as for other successful passers of the country’s hardest licensure exams.

This is the first time for Silliman University to have three Bar topnotchers: 2nd placer Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio, 9th placer Marie Chielo Ybio, and 10th placer Andrew Stephen Liu.

Lawyer Shiela Lynn Catacutan-Besario, dean of the SU College of Law, said the whole Silliman community is on cloud nine.

Mock Bar

What Silliman did differently for this batch of barristers was the introduction of the mock bar exams under the auspices of lawyer Golda Benjamin, one of their newest faculty members.

Dean Besario said they also intensified their review classes and the Juris Doctor thesis program.

Benjamin said she was inspired to introduce the mock bar exams to teach their students how to write clear, short, and organized answers to suit the classic CRA format (conclusion, rule, application of the rule).

She said that because a bar examiner checks more than 50 booklets a day, a student will most likely score low if the answers are not well-written.

“We aimed to write only half-page answers consisting of three to four sentences,” she said.

Benjamin said that everyone put in a lot of hard work in achieving the 87 percent passing percentage of their graduates. She also lauded the humility of their students that allowed them to be mentored, and go through the same work that Manila students go through.


Second placer Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio is also assured of a brand new car from local lawyers Frank and Whelma Yap, both alumni of the Silliman University College of Law.

The Yaps earlier pledged to give a brand new car to anyone who could place fourth in the Bar, in keeping with Atty. Frank Yap’s achievement of being 4th place in the 1966 Bar examinations.

Khio is also guaranteed a cash incentive of $4,000, while 9th placer Marie Chielo Ybio and 10th placer Andrew Stephen Liu are assured of $2,000 each from US-based Silliman alumni Dr. Rolando V. del Carmen and his wife Erlyn.

The Yaps and the Del Carmens made their pledges in October last year to anyone who places 2nd, 3rd or 4th place in the Bar exams, in an effort to inspire the students and faculty to achieve their best.

The Del Carmens also pledged $5,000 to any Silliman alumnus who tops the Bar; $3,000 to anyone who places 5th, 6th and 7th; and $ 1,000 to anyone who graduates with honors.

They also pledged to donate $1,000 to the law faculty if the graduating class obtains a 100 percent passing percentage.

For his part, Andrew Stephen Liu said he is still overwhelmed at being in 10th place, but added that he was just so happy to pass the Bar.

He said he put in 10 hours of study time every day, and had some time to rest his mind, like going to the mall once a week.

He said he was most confident in Political Law and Taxation but had difficulty in Criminal and Remedial Law. Liu said he will forever remember the teachings of his favorite teachers, lawyers Levi Estolloso, Norberto Denura, and Edward Sedillo.

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TAGS: bar, celebrates, Three, topnotchers

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