UP is in top 10 but he’s from San Beda

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02:15 AM March 1st, 2012

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March 1st, 2012 02:15 AM

There’s someone from the University of the Philippines (UP) on the Top 10 of the bar exams, after all. But he earned his law degree not from UP but from the San Beda Alabang College of Law in Muntinlupa City.

Rodolfo Q. Aquino, 64, a native of Muñoz City, Nueva Ecija province, has been teaching for more than a decade at the UP College of Business Administration and was already looking forward to his retirement next year.

He graduated from UP with a business degree and was a batchmate of Senator Franklin Drilon, both of them being members of the Sigma Rho fraternity.

In a phone interview, Aquino recounted how he had wanted to take up law but could not do so because of financial constraints. He said he learned about his passing the bar from his batchmates at San Beda Alabang College of Law.

No retirement age

Asked what his initial plans are, he replied, “I’m still thinking about it. I will probably apply in one of the law firms of my (fraternity) brods to gain experience.”

He said he had been invited by the San Beda dean to be a lecturer. Aquino said he looked forward to specializing in commercial and economic law.

Asked if he thought being a senior citizen would be an obstacle to his law practice, he replied, “No, even if I’m already old, I can still help the country,” adding, “There is no retirement age in the legal profession.”

Overachiever

Aquino has two Ph.D. degrees—in economics (2005) and in operations research (OR) and statistics (1979).

He earned his master’s degree in OR and statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York (1977) and his master’s in economics (2000) from the same school.

He finished his master’s degree in business administration at UP in 1969 and his bachelor of science in business administration, also at UP, in 1966.

Cyberbully victim

Among those who passed was Christopher Lao, a UP law student, who suffered from cyberbullying after a television crew took a video of him last year attempting to drive his car through a flooded street.

“I was not informed about it!” Lao was heard as complaining in the video, which had become viral.

Another UP graduate, James Mark Terry Ridon, spokesperson of the Kabataan party-list group, also passed the bar exams.

Ridon is the lead convenor of the #i-monitor, a broad alliance of youth, students, professionals and other groups monitoring the impeachment trial.

“Does the Chief Justice absolutely think, in his heart of hearts, that he is serving as a great role model to us bar passers? We think absolutely not. His defense panel can insist on all excuses and justifications for his actions but the breadth of evidence presented showing partiality for former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is disapprovingly overwhelming,” Ridon said.

However, Ridon said what he feared more was the “creation of an Aquino court.”

The oath-taking of the successful bar candidates is set at 2 p.m. on March 21, at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The bar passers may secure their clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant during office hours, Monday to Friday, beginning today, until March 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The four-Sunday exams were held on November 6, 13, 20 and 27 last year at the University of Sto. Tomas on España Street in Manila. The tests were administered through deputy clerk of court and bar confidant, lawyer Cristina Layusa.

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