MANILA — Members of the police force will tighten security around the vicinity of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) here as the annual bar examination starts Sunday (Nov. 4), National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director, Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, said Saturday.
Eleazar said the deployment of 434 uniformed police personnel is meant to deter any untoward incident that may happen on these days, as well as to ensure order all around the vicinity of the university.
He also reminded all examinees, their relatives and friends, and residents in the vicinity that the ban on alcoholic drinks, starting Saturday evenings until the whole of Sunday, will be strictly enforced.
Violators, he said, will be brought to police precincts and booked accordingly.
“The Annual Bar Exams are milestones in our yearly calendar. The police will uphold the importance of these days and protect the significance of these days to our country’s judicial system,” the NCRPO chief said.
“We will exhaust all efforts to ensure peace and order for the sake of the examinees and their families,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Manila Police District has organized and activated Task Force “2018 BarOps” to direct, administer and supervise security, anti-criminality operations, emergency preparedness, and crisis response procedures for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the activity.
More than 400 MPD personnel would be deployed in and around UST.
The establishment of the Advance Command Post (ACP) and emergency lane will start at 7 a.m. of Saturday (Nov. 3). Explosive and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) paneling and CCTV monitoring in all four corners of the UST campus will be done as early as 4 a.m. on November 4.
The MPD, under Chief Supt. Rolando Anduyan, said it will also double its efforts and heighten security on several points of convergence.
Anduyan also warned the public of several modus operandi in the area, urging them to be vigilant and alert.
“If you notice any unusual activity or suspicious-looking persons, please immediately report it to the authorities,” he said.
The Supreme Court’s Office of the Confidant announced that 8,701 examinees have applied to take the bar examinations that will be held in UST for four consecutive Sundays this November.
“This is the highest number of bar candidates in recent years,” the SC said in a statement.
A total of 6,831 examinees took the 2016 bar exams and there were 6,748 examinees during the 2017 bar exams.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has set up contingency plans for examinees and duty personnel in case of heavy rains and flooding during the examination dates.
The SC said 10 buses shall be available to transport examinees and duty personnel to the UST from several pick-up points and will be stationed as early as 4:30 a.m. and will leave at 5 a.m.
These pick-up points are the Quezon City Memorial Circle near the Philippine Coconut Authority (two buses); Park and Ride, Lawton, Manila (one bus); SC New Building Compound, Taft Ave. (two buses); Greenbelt and Glorietta, Ayala Center, Makati (two buses); and Marikina Sports Complex (one bus).
The SC reminded that only bar examinees and duty personnel will be allowed to ride the shuttle buses, and boarding shall be on a first-come, first-served basis.
To avail of this service, they must present their notice of admission, gate pass and/or identification cards to the bus driver before being allowed to board.
Should there be flooding in UST, the SC said it has also prepared commuter vans that will transport examinees and duty personnel to their respective examination buildings before and after the exams during the examination dates.
The dates and the subjects of the examinations are:
Nov. 4: Political and International Law (8 a.m. to 12 noon); Labor Law and Social Legislation (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.);
Nov. 11: Civil Law (8 a.m. to 12 noon); Taxation Law (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.);
Nov. 18: Mercantile Law (8 a.m. to 12 noon); Criminal Law (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.); and
Nov. 25: Remedial Law (8 a.m. to 12 noon); Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA-northboundasia.com