(Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Fabello)

A graduate of the Palawan State University (PSU) School of Law has landed fifth (5th) in the 2019 Bar Exams, a first and a milestone in the province’s only law school.

Jocelyn Fabello, who scored 88.26 percent, was the first PSU law graduate to make it to the top of the bar.

Ten other PSU Law graduates were among the successful examinees, based on the results released Wednesday (April 29) by the Supreme Court. They were: Abrina, Joshua; Babao, Anniza; Bautista, Vanessa; Besa, Tristan; Dela Cruz, Lourdes; Diva, Sarah; Fabello, Jocelyn; Madeja, Ruby; Magrata, Rhodel; Rodriguez, Alena; and Tubog, Rishel.

“Actually, ‘yong pumasa pa lang sobrang grateful na ako kasi a few hours ago and a few days ago ang buong pamilya talagang [anxious] na sila na lalabas ‘yong result,” Fabello said.

“Ako sa sarili alam ko kung mga mali ko at ‘yong pangit ang handwriting ko ‘yong mga ganoong stuff that could influence the result of the bar kaya hindi ko talaga in-expect ‘yong sa Top 5. Talagang sobrang dagdag na lang dahil yong prayers ko is to just pass the bar,” she added.

Fabello was a consistent honor student. She graduated as the valedictorian of the PSU Laboratory Elementary School. She also graduated with high honors at the University of the Philippines (UP) Integrated School and finished her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Administration at UP Diliman. She also took up a diplomatic course in cultural development in Turin Italy.

Fabello was a former disc jockey (DJ) in a local radio station and worked at the Puerto Princesa City government at the City Planning Office for three years.

Feeling humbled by her recent achievement, Fabello expressed gratitude to the family, friends, PSU dean, associate dean, professors, and those who were of great support.

“Ngayon sobrang gratitude sa Taas ang nararamdaman ko kasi more than happiness yong talagang gratitude ko dahil ang hirap ng napagdaanan namin at the same time maraming pagsubok, nagkasakit during the bar exam pati yong sa mata ko nagkaka-eye strains ako ka pag nagbabasa pero dahil sa Taas at support ng family and sa Palawan State University sa aming dean at sa associate dean at sa mga school mates namin na support natapos po namin yong bar at ito ang naging resulta,” Fabello said.

“Sa Taas, sa aking pamilya lahat ng sumuporta na kino-consider na po namin na family sa lahat ng nag-pray para sa lahat ng nag-take na taga-Palawan kasi talagang tinataguyod din na not just yong mga Manila schools pero kaya rin ng mga provincial law school, yong school, bar operators during our bar review, at syempre sa boyfriend ko na nagtiyaga sa loob ng anim na taon na sumuporta sa akin at umunawa,” she added.

Lawyer Maria Gisela Josol-Trampe, associate dean of PSU Law, expressed elation over Fabello’s historic bar ranking, stating that it was a validation of the school’s effort in producing quality education for aspiring lawyers.

“Nakakaiyak dahil first time ito nangyari. Although PSU has been included in top schools in the Philippines, this is the first time that an examinee landed a spot sa top rank. It feels so amazing and I just talked to Miss Fabello and we were crying on how amazing it is,” she said

“This is a validation na tama ‘yong ginagawa natin sa law school. We are very thankful sa diligence and compassion ng law professors and to Dean [Perry] Pe na sobra-sobra ‘yong support sa law school who has been very very supportive,” she added.

Lawyer Perry Pe, dean of PSU School of Law, said that it is a “ray of sunshine amid the [COVID-19] crisis” and pointed out that it was a testament of school’s excellence citing its previous track record where it garnered 100 percent passing rate in 2016.

“We don’t have to be in Metro Manila anymore. Learning, with the advent of the internet, you can access the best modes of learning,” he said.

With the PSU School of Law producing 11 new lawyers out of its 20 takers, its passing rate for this year is 55 percent. (with reports from Ruth Rodriguez)

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.