By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
A University of St. LaSalle (USLS) graduate was revealed to have topped the 2017 bar examinations after the results were released yesterday. 31-year-old Mark John Simondo, a resident of Lopez Jaena in Bacolod City’s Barangay 33 and son of a retired Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) official, scored 91.05 percent.
In a radio interview yesterday morning, Simondo said he wasn’t expecting the result, but hoped he would be included within the top ten passers.
Simondo said he also studied nursing at the USLS and passed the nursing licensure examination, but did not get into the top 10 position.
Afterwards, he entered the USLS College of Law and finished the course five years later as valedictorian.
When asked his secret in passing the exam, Simondo said he always spent his time studying and, when exam day arrived, he prayed.
Simondo also thanked his family and schoolmates for inspiration and support.
Several Negros Occidental provincial government officials, along with their counterparts in the Bacolod City government, extended their congratulations to Simondo.
In a message by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr., he said, “[Simondo’s] record in last year’s bar exams is no ordinary feat.”
The governor pointed out, Simondo’s 91 percent scorecard was the first time the 90 percent mark was surpassed in 16 years.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, meanwhile, said it is a proud moment for the city.
“We have proven that we have local talents who are at par with the best in Manila and elsewhere,” Leonardia said.
He added, Simondo will be a source of inspiration for the people of the city and, in general, those currently attending law school./DGB, WDJ