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


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.”


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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  • JasminCubacub

    What do you expect from the UP Law Students who studied and prepared for Bar exams during the time of MARVIC LEONEN as UP LAW DEAN? He only trained them to be shouting and running around naked in protest against people far from their sight. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laki-Bayag/100000687670299 Laki Bayag

    So does the bar make you a better lawyer? Heck no.

    • MrPaulJ

      heck yes… where would you go if you do not even pass the bar??? Logic po! I am not judging those who did not pass, they still have the chance.. but to belittle those who passed is totally idiotic

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RP6IR255NH47Z6INOUCU43IGFI Benito

        I think the BAR exam is a subjective exam especially during the days when the exam is in essay format. Examiners have hard time reading the handwritten answers such that there are even suggestions to make the exam automated so that examiners will be able to read the answers properly. It is not as objective as some Board Exams where math and science are the languages used. Logic?! There are many lawyers who passed the BAR but is justice evident in our country? Come on. You may pass the BAR, but that does not make you a better lawyer. But still, my congratulations to the passers. I am not belittling your achievement as I know that the BAR is not a game of LUCK! :)

  • bicolokano

    ginawa kasing multiple choice ang exam.. dati Essays.. haha sa multiple choice pala magaling ang ateneo? XD

    • MrPaulJ

       sour graping!!! :))) eh kung multiple choice nga di nag top UP, pano na kpag essays lahat.. haha

      • bicolokano

        haha di na gets!

  • dknight_98

    Salamabit! Not having a UP Law graduate in the top ten is something newsworthy? People have no shame. They are dishonoring UP for even entertaining the thought. 

    • MrPaulJ

       its definitely not newsworthy… what is noteworthy though is that many students from a rather less known schools placed among the top ten passers… ehemmm… i still admire UP (before)…:)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7T2BPPGLG457K5BUPQBPOKDPA4 Marlon

    mangmang lang namamangha sa Top Ten ng bar exams.

    eh ano ngayon kung Top Ten ka??? magaling ka na ba na abogado nyan??? hinde ka pa nga nakakahawak ng kaso eh.

    nevertheless, congratulations pa rin sa lahat ng pumasa sa bar exams, Top Ten man o hinde, kasi napakahirap ng exam na yan.

    g*gong Inquirer na ito, bakit naman pagdidiskitahan ang UP College of Law kung wala sa Top Ten???

    since its founding in 1911, the UP College of Law always had a graduate in the Top Ten (not to mention 46 No. 1 Placers) except only in two instances:

    1) 1984 Bar Exams
    2) 2011 Bar Exams

    ano ba ang nangyari sa UP Class of 1984 after 2 decades???

    marami sa kanila naging partners ng mga pinakamalaking law firms ng Pilipinas

    isa sa kanila naging Energy Secretary ni GMA: Secretary POPOY LOTILLA

    yung class valedictorian nila naging youngest appointed Supreme Court Justice: Justice MA. LOURDES P.A. SERENO

    2 decades from now, husgahan natin ang UP Law Class of 2011.

    pero ang nangyari ngayon ay kasalanan din ng mga propesor ng UP na puro pamumulitika lang ang inaatupag at hinde pagtuturo katulad ni Harry Roque, Vicky Avena, Marvic Leonen at iba pa.

    hinde naman nagtuturo ang lahat ng propesor ng UP, magaling lang talaga dumiskarte ang mga estudyante, kaya lang hinde na kinaya ng diskarte ngayon.

    • MrPaulJ

      ikaw na nagsabi “kung ano ngayon kung top ten ka?” tapos pilit mong pinapakita na laging may top ten ang UP…. well, ADMU ngayon diba? Hail Ateneo!

    • Ulipur

      Harry Roque, Vicky Avena, Marvic Leonen

      Mabuhay po kayong Tatlo at iba pang katulad ninyo!

    • FernandoBusi

      We’ll i didnt take up law but if i remember my college years what was emphasized is personal responsibility …there were semesters halos absent ako half the time and your still expected to pass your exams do your part. If UP students now want to be spoon fed then masasabi ko bumaba na ang quality!!! They should remember UP is not DLSU.

  • Ulipur

    Congratulations Dr. Rodolfo Q. Aguino.



  • mark_john21

    Bat parang nagyayabang ang mga taga  ateneo? Nakatsamba lang sa top ten kala mo napakagaling na nila. Kung ikumpara ang standard ng UP sa  ateneo at sa kanilang natamo sa lipunan ng pilipinas ang layo ng  diperensiya. 

  • bedanlion

    bakit po napaka-bitter ng mga tao? di nalang tayo matuwa para sa kanila? mahirap po mag-aral ng law.. i would know kasi senior na ako sa san beda.. May reason kung bakit sila nakapasok sa top 10, it’s because they studied harder at kadalasan eh mas matalino talaga sila(di matanggap ng karamihan kasi totoo).. at kasalanan ba ng mga taga ateneo na lagi sila nagtatop? di nila kasalanan na mayayaman sila at magagaling na students.. 

    Kung naging mas mayaman lang sana kami eh di ako magdadalawang isip na mag-aral sa ateneo dahil alam ko na magagaling ang nagtuturo dun at inaalagaan talaga nila mga students nila..

    and P.S. magaling talaga si Atty. Rodolfo Aquino, at super sipag nya mag-aral.. mahilig sya magsit-in kahit sa class ng mga lower years para makarinig ng lectures ng profs..

    • Therese104

      you must be a true bedan, judging by your humility and the wisdom of your words.  I agree, we should be happy for the topnotchers and admire them for their hard work and intelligence.

    • botets


  • Loggnat

    ‘ Rodolfo Q. Aquino, 64, a native of Muñoz City, Nueva Ecija province, 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. And he capped it off with a law degree and passed as one of the top ten.” /// If anybody needs somebody to emulate, he is the ‘Man’. I believe him when he said, “No, even if I’m already old, I can still help the country ”. With his credentials, the AMLC will be the ideal place to work for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Denzel-Boksingero/100003159765441 Denzel Boksingero

    Yung Top 7 ngayon si Acosta, parang UP undergrad yan. Graduate ng National College of Public Administration and Governance

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OHOD5EA75DBBUH53UKLRXRK764 Mang Teban

    Wow! Atty. Rodolfo Aquino has more academic credentials than Atty. Miriam Santiago..hehe.
    and his performance at the bar exams is one complete leap year cycle than the verbal abuser Miriam who I read somewhere was an average rating of 76? Ang layo mo, madam sa top 10th placer.

    O, tama na po ang publicity para sa mga taga-UP….eh, ano naman kung graduate sila ng U.P. ?
    We should stop this fetish about brand image for schools who are always quoted to be the best schools in the Philippines… You will not find San Beda, UST, Notre Dame or Arellano U as posted by job search engines as “graduates of (brand-name schools) are preferred.”

    But, I can sense the leaning towards seeking fraternity’s help for new lawyer, Atty. Aquino, who is a Sigma Rho member. I hope that at his senior age, he would not rely on his frat brothers but rely on his own merits…his own skills…his own qualifications. Is this the principal reason why students join fraternities?

    I can also understand Atty. Ridon’s apprehension about an P-Noy dominated Supreme Court. It is the wrong concept of appointing justices that a one-track mind of a president like Noynoy and Gloria that puts our country in such a highly politicized environment even on matters of instituting a Supreme Court who must be composed of truly deserving people with INTEGRITY and FEAR OF THE LORD.  As the Scriptures say, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Thus, a justice or judge who does not fear the mighty power of God to take what He has given is not a wise magistrate. We know that an evil justice or judge makes foolish mistakes and loses sight of what is true and just because then God has taken away the gift of discernment from him.

    May our new lawyers discern more what God has in store for them. May they not be misled to believe that their privilege as a lawyer and knowledgeable of human laws has clothed them with invincibility to make falsehood to be truth and to practice the profession without any regard for human dignity and the nothingness of our wisdom and actions without God’s Hand upon us all.

  • Iggy Ramirez

    The only way you could enter UP Law is that if you become a member of one of the resident fraternities.

    Selection is not based on how well you did on UP LAE but on how many brods you know inside. It’s cheaper to take Law at UP especially if you are poor but if you’ve got money, take it somewhere else. The good teachers of UP Law had long been invited to other Universities for a better pay and those who have remained there are suckers. Most of them will not teach because they are busy with making extra money in the sidelines.

    More and more dumb students get into UP Law. That is the biggest factor why there has not been one in this year’s top ten. “Brod, ipasok mo naman ako sa UP Law”. Expect less in the coming years.

    Yeah, the Republic of the Philippines is paying for the education of certain Fraternities. I’m not gonna say who. The culture of corruption starts even before they say their first “Good Morning Maam”.

    UP Law sucks. And their students park as far as Engineering.

    • http://www.facebook.com/corinna.hope.maranan Corky Hope Maranan

      weh, di nga?

    • Therese104

      I suspected as much (i.e. resident frats as tickets to UP Law).  It is also obvious how they stick together, specially when in power.   It is refreshing to see Arellano, Notre Dame and Siliman in the top 10.  It gives  ordinary folks like us (who have no brods, no political connections etc) some glimmer of hope.  Btw, are there any people in the top 10 who aren’t frat members?   

      • Iggy Ramirez

        We’ll let’s see.

        The top 1 is gay so he couldn’t be a frat member
        2nd is a woman
        3rd is a woman
        4th is a mother of 3
        5th is gay
        6th is a polio victim
        7th is a woman
        8th is a dyke
        9th is a woman
        10th is a grandfather who is a member of a fraternity but who is probably too old to take pride in being a fratman

        Yeah, this year’s topnotchers are either gay, woman, person with disability, senile, or just plain loser.

  • neverwint3r

    these up grads aren’t really impressive. daming up grad sa prosecution but they are made to look stupid and knows nothing about the law or even basic procedures.

    the thing is, if you really want to learn from the best, go to harvard. enough said.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LPLWHPS7B5WPHPRAREXBIP2BIY renato

       Harvard kagaya ni Tito Sotto? hehehe

      • http://www.facebook.com/corinna.hope.maranan Corky Hope Maranan

        at ni gloria.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LPLWHPS7B5WPHPRAREXBIP2BIY renato

         Gloria did not go Harvard, she went to Georgetown. erratum.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O5TQQYPGVHXCQLU4BRQR4FVBNA ramone

        It’s Mirriam Santiago who went to Harvard. However, she simply attended a brief SEMINAR there and she is not listed as an alumna of Harvard, hehehe

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LPLWHPS7B5WPHPRAREXBIP2BIY renato

         ramone, in an interview Tito Sotto claims that he went to harvard, probably, same seminar that miriam attended. Baka Harvardian College ng Davao City. As in Harvard-diyan, hehehe.

    • http://www.facebook.com/corinna.hope.maranan Corky Hope Maranan

      go colonial mentality! 

    • yellow_brigade

      talangka..salot sa bayan!!!

    • MagicQuad

      harvard law si mister corona. ano naman kaya natutunan niya doon?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YG45FJAG6MXZNQNQYCZWKTZFEQ leon form

    I hope this is start of a good trend .   UP brains applied to other fields like science, medicine, engineering etc.   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BWDVETXQ3J54HDIFWHNNYKX6AY Navi

    for as long as there is no genuine land reform and nationalist industrialization, the judicial system in the country will remain in favor of big landlords, capitalists, warlords, druglords and corrupt bureaucrats who made billions while in public office.

    • BacolodBoy

       Change the constitution….

  • ikulong


  • ikulong


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/I2ZYVBCK4PUPMF2GEVRTESZYU4 San To


    • http://twitter.com/cedieble Amor Venenoso

      yes sir, tga-UP po si Miriam :)

  • FernandoBusi

    Actually in UP its the Under Grads who are good … the masteral students and those taking law did not really go through the kind of stringent assessment that most undergrad go through … and the UP graduates who are good often would study overseas for their post grad either through scholarships or at their own expense.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESPSLPH7VXAKKKJKB274CZOX2E Raphael

    haynaku, eto talagang si Jerome Aning, wala na cgurong masulat kaya eto na lang ang sinulat na article!ahihihihihi

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESPSLPH7VXAKKKJKB274CZOX2E Raphael

    okey calling on the Supreme Court!!! sabihan nyo si christopher Lao na pumasa sya at baka sumigaw na naman sya na hindi sya na-inform!!!hahahahahahaha

  • Ben Tampadong

    Kung lolo ko ito , i’ll be very proud of him. Congrats po!

  • Beguine

    What’s so hot about passing or topping the bar exams when there
    are lotsa passed-bar and topnotchers who are failures in their career.

    For that matter generally lawyers don’t get any better, they just
    after school and the bar learn how to get along with the system,
    and the system is so corrupt everybody gets corrupted, brilliant or not.

    Best latest glaring example, you guessed it, Renato Corona.

  • hakudaten

    Congratulations… a source of inspiration!

    Apparently not all will be “successful”… this is a sad state for some lawyer or maybe it’s their choice at all. I believe… notary public offices will sprout again.

  • Hagler

    Talagang ipinagpupumilit na may taga UP na nasa top 10.
    Taga UP siguro ang writer.

  • zugz

    eh pag mga professors mo eh gaya ni Vickie Avena sus talagang palaos ng ang UP Law . 

  • lilybugan

    malamang di yan pumasa sa LAE kaya nag San Beda

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