Senate commends 2016 bar topnotcher Karen Mae Calam

The Senate today adopted a resolution commending Karen Mae Calam, a certified public accountant and law graduate from the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, for topping the 2016 Philippine Bar Examinations.

The Senate resolution, introduced by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, congratulates Calam for “obtaining the highest mark in what is considered as one of the toughest licensure exams in the country.”

The resolution also lauds Calam for “besting over 6,300 other examinees who took the gruelling tests which were held during the four Sundays of November 2016 at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.”

“Karen Mae Calam serves as an inspiration for the people of Bukidnon, and those in other provinces as well, to work hard and believe that with the continued guidance of our Lord, and ample hard work and determination, no dream is too big and no goal is impossible to achieve,” Zubiri, also a native of Bukidnon, said in the resolution.

According to the resolution, Calam hails from the Municipality of Kalilangan in the Province of Bukidnon, where she completed both her primary and secondary education at the Kalilangan Elementary School and Kalilangan High School.

“She earned the distinction of being the first bar topnotcher from Bukidnon and the first-ever law graduate of the University of San Carlos, the oldest university in Cebu, to rank first in the Philippine Bar Examination,” the resolution said.

The resolution also noted that the 2016 Philippine Bar Examination “was marked with numerous milestones,” including the fact that it registered the highest passing rate in the last 16 years at 59.06 percent, or 3,747 examinees passing out of 6,344 examinees.

“For the first time in the bar’s history, all ten topnotchers are from schools outside Metro Manila, three of which are Mindanaoans,” the resolution added.

The resolution said that Calam will join the ranks of “prominent and great lawyers” who in the past ranked first in the bar such as former Presidents Manuel Roxas, Diosdado Macapagal and Ferdinand Marcos, former Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former Senate President Jovito Salonga, former Senators Lorenzo Sumulong, Tecia San Andres, Jose Diokno, San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora, former Chief Justices Roberto Concepcion, Claudio Teehankee and Pedro Yap, former Supreme Court Justices Cecilia Munoz-Palma, Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera, Carolina Grino-Aquino and Arturo Brion, and former legislator and Secretary of Defense Gilbert Teodoro, among others.

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