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Hernando reminds new lawyers: Uphold code of ethics

MANILA, Philippines — 2023 Bar Examinations chairman Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando on Tuesday asked the newly-minted lawyers to comply with the “canons expected to be observed by the members of the Bar.”

Following the announcement by the Supreme Court, the 2023 Bar Examinations revealed 3,812 successful candidates out of 10,387 examinees, resulting in a passing rate of 36.77%.

“We would want this new brand of lawyers to be admitted to the Bar on December 22 to be accountable for their actions. Whatever capacity they will be practicing the profession,” Hernando said in a press briefing.

“With every duty and responsibility they have to think and keep in mind that they are to be held accountable by the court if they fall short in their duties and responsibilities that are expected of them,” he added.

Hernando cited the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability, serving as the revised code of conduct for lawyers. This updated version, approved by the Supreme Court in April 2023, supersedes the previous Code of Professional Responsibility.

“We added the word accountability to the canons because we felt that there was a regress in the past years when it came to the discipline expected from members of the bar,” Hernando said. 

For those who did not pass the Bar exams, Hernando said that they should consider it as a challenge to “exert more” effort. 

“It’s not the end of the road for those of you who did not make it,” he said 

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took to X (formerly Twitter) to extend his congratulations to the Bar passers.

“As you begin your unique paths, stand firm in upholding the integrity and remain true to the reasons that called you to practice law,” Marcos said.

The full results of the 2023 Bar examinations can be accessed here.