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STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BAR

by:
Dr. Arturo M. De Castro
(LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
Bar Review Director, PCU College of Law
Law Professor, Ateneo Law School, University of Manila
College of Law

INTRODUCTION
Preparation for the Bar entails a great deal of work and
dedication that requires management of your mood, attitude
and stress, perseverance. It requires all the time and efforts
one can give, paced day-by-day, until the Bar examination
week. This is accomplished by doing ones personal best
beyond the limit of human endurance made possible by the
inspiring drive of the anticipated improved status of
becoming a member of the most noble profession, with all
the honors, privileges and prestige appertaining thereto, and
guided and inspired by faith in the Almighty God.
There are techniques to guide the Bar Reviewers to
minimize anxiety and stress and improve their ability to pass
the Bar.

1.

Discipline Good
Health
and
Clean Living

Have a balanced diet. Eat plenty of vegetables and


fruits and fish. Avoid too much meat and fatty foods. Do not
drink alcohol and do not smoke. Exercise regularly to
improve delivery of oxygen by the blood to the brain. At
whatever age, the brain cells continue to grow through
physical exercise and mental endeavors. Physical exercise
drives away depression and engenders a cheerful mode.
Avoid getting sick during the Bar Review. Avoid going to
crowded places like the movie house, the cockpit and
hospitals.
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

1.1. The Wonderful Gift of Diabetes


Take good care of your health. If you have known
illness, like heart condition, hypertension or diabetes, do not
neglect them.
I consider diabetes as a gift responsible for long,
healthy and wonderful life. Ever since I was diagnosed of
having diabetes in the year 2000, I gave up alcohol and
smoking and followed a strict program of diet, exercise and
medication, to which I owe the healthy and wonderful life I
enjoy at present.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Avoid salty and fatty
foods. Do not consume more calories that are more than
what your body can burn in physical exercise. Eat food with
lesser calories, like corn, vegetables and fruits.
There are herbs and vegetables that reduce sugar level
in the blood like Ashitaba (eat 4 leaves raw every day), okra
(cut 5 pieces into 4 pieces and let the slimy juice mix with a
big glass of water overnight and drink this in the morning),
malunggay (let the leaves dry at room temperature and eat
them. The seeds covered with black coating may be eaten
raw after removing the black coating, and drink water after
chewing, and the bitter taste becomes sweet, saluyot (the
seeds are eaten raw).
When you run out of diabetic medicine in a far place
where there is no drugstore or other source, the bile of fish,
like bangus or the bile of chicken is a good substitute for
diabetic medicine for Type Two Diabetes. For type I Diabetes
dependent on Insulin injection, diabetic management is
much more complicated and greater care is needed.
I consider diabetes as a gift to me because many of my
contemporaries who did not have diabetes are now gone due
to excessive drinking, smoking, gluttony and unhealthy
lifestyle.

1.2. Meditation and Faith in God


Meditation and belief in a Supreme Being are a great
help in reveiwing for the Bar, as in life in general.
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

Faith in God and the fundamental rule of right and


wrong, that good faith is rewarded, bad faith is punished, on
which the legal system is generally based is a great help in
the difficult task of reviewing for the Bar, as in the business
of living.
If we have faith in the Almighty, we have nothing to
fear, because we believe He will take care of us, and nothing
is impossible because if we ask He shall give it to us if we
live a life of grace according to His tenets of fairness, justice
and equity.
To be at peace with one-self and ones neighbor is to be
at peace with the world, particularly with the persons you
love.
Feelings are neither right nor wrong. If you hurt a
person, wittingly or unwittingly, it takes courage and a
compassionate heart to say you are sorry, which is usually
what is needed to alleviate or lift the hurt feelings of the
person concerned.
It is better not to harbor ill-feelings or hatred. Hatred is
a heavy burden to the one who hates more than to the
object of the hatred. According to Emerson, the solution is to
forget and not to waste time on the person who has done
you wrong.
There is the healing effect of time. To forgive is a
compassion encouraged in the Lords Prayer, which brings
peace to the heart of the forgiver. Sometimes, being hurt
and deeply offended is a matter of interpretation and choice.
It is possible that the offender has no intention to cause you
pain but only beset with more serious problems than you
have. In any event, forgetting or diverting attention in the
meantime that you cannot yet forget prevents you from
torments of being hurt and hurting.
Prayers and meditations are a process that improves
memorization. Faith in God and peace with our fellowmen
are strong driving inspiration for us to succeed. Promise to
God that you would be a good Christian lawyer, and you
would pass the Bar.

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

2.

Time
is
the
most Important
Element in the
Study of the
Law

How much time should you devote each day to prepare


for the Bar? You need the productive time you can give every
day.
However, all work and no play makes John a dull boy.
If you feel you are no longer productive in your review,
relax, rest and re-charge with recreational activities then go
back to your review with greater vigor and aggression, and
greater drive and vengeance.

3.

Budget
Time
Planning
Schedule
Review

your
by
the
for

Plan and schedule your review to enable you to have


adequate knowledge of the law in all subjects. Those
enrolled in Bar Review Centers may follow the pace, but it is
better to have your own schedule and stick to it because
most of the Review Centers have chopsuey schedule,
jumping from one subject to another due to the difficulty in
scheduling continuous review for a subject because most of
the Best Reviewers are busy in their own schedules.
The more times review is done, the better the chance
for mastery of the principles of the law used in answering
Bar questions. Make sure that you have adequately studied
each subject by making your own outline in a separate
notebook for each subject. The second and subsequent
review of the same subject may be done much faster than
the previous review, which is to check only what you may
not have firmly committed to your memory. In the
subsequently review, you spend more time only on the
principles you have not completely mastered.

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

The technique for speed reading in the subsequent


chapter will help you in your review and re-review.

4.

Learn
Memorize
a.)

to

Man is a Creature of Intelligent Habits

The main business of a study or review for the bar


is memorization. This is not a problem if you know the
technique. Man is a creature of intelligent habits. We
memorize thru repetitions and association.
Learn to integrate and correlate related important
principles in the different branches of law and repeat as
many times your study of the law as you can until you
gain mastery thereof. Repetition and association are the
key to memorization.
The technique to enhance power memory in the
subsequent chapter will help the Bar Reviewers improve
their memory skills.

4.1. Speed Reading


In subsequent chapter, the Bar Reviewees are given the
technique to improve reading speed and comprehension, by
at least 3 times. With the voluminous materials to be read,
speed reading and comprehension would be a big help.

4.2. Listening and taking down notes


The
same
elements
in
speed
reading
and
comprehension, and memory skills are involved in acquiring
the ability to be a good listener, which is very helpful in
taking down notes, as discussed in the subsequent chapter.

5.

Identify
and
Concentrate on
the
Most
Important
Doctrines and

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

Principles
in
Each Subject
Go through each Bar subject and have a quick overview
of the subject coverage. Identify the important principles in
each subject. If you find this task difficult, go through the
previous Bar questions, and you will notice the frequently
recurring subjects of the Bar Questions, in varying forms,
particularly the topics covered by problems with big
percentage points. You will also notice the recurring topics
for objective type questions, in the form of multiple choice
involving basic legal principles or essay questions or legal
memorandum writing which are now the types of Bar
Examination. In the subsequent chapter, the MCQs given in
the 2011 Bar with indicated answers as published by the
Supreme Court are reproduced together with the Opinion
Writing and Legal Memorandum problems given in the 2011
Bar examinations, with the suggested answers of the author.

6.

Watch out for


the PrecedentSetting
Decisions
and
the
Burning
Issues of the
Day
and
Significant
Recent
Legislations

We may anticipate probable questions in the Bar based


on recent precedent-setting or controversial decisions of the
Supreme Court, such as the nullification of the Bansang Moro
Memorandum of Agreement, constitutionality of the Base
Line Law, the Dual Citizenship Law, eligibility of the
candidate who garnered the next highest votes to be
proclaimed winner if the disqualification of the winner was
declared before the election but finally resolved after he won
the election, the Aboitiz case reversing the Monark case
modifying the doctrine of the real and hypothecary nature of
maritime commerce, in the light of the tragedies of the MV
Princess of the Star two (2) years ago and repeated
tragedies recently in the sinking of MV Joselle. Recent
important legislations are also fertile source of Bar questions
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

such as the domestic adoption by Congress of the


Philippines, and ratification by the President Benigno Aquino
III, of the Rome Statute creating the International Criminal
Court and providing for Universal Jurisdiction for war crimes,
genocide and other crimes against humanity also cognizable
by Philippine Courts and providing
for extra-territorial
jurisdiction of Philippine Courts in addition to the provision of
Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code. Also significant are the
Anti-Terror Law, as well as the Rules of Procedures
promulgated by the Supreme Court under its constitutional
rule-making power such as the Writ of Amparo, The Writ of
Habeas Data and The Special Rules of Court implementing
the ADR Law of 2004 outlawing the issuance of antiarbitration injunction by Philippine Courts.
In mercantile law, the raging issue in various levels of
the Court including the Supreme Court is whether the
merger and consolidation involves sale or assignment of
credit from the absorbed corporation to the surviving
corporation, and whether the assignment or transfer of
credit while the debtor is under rehabilitation proceeding is a
sale of credit under litigation under Article 1634 of the Civil
Code granting the equitable right of redemption to the
borrower by paying only the acquisition price or value of the
transfer for the surviving corporation. So also, the Financial
Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010 repeals the
Insolvency law and introduces many changes in the law of
rehabilitation and insolvency, both substantially and
procedurally.
In Political Law and Public International Law, the focus
of the public eye in the Spratly and Scarborough Shoal
disputes with China raises questions under the provision of
the Constitution on our Territory as an Archipelago based
principally on the Treaty of Paris of 1898 which has been
modified by the United National Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Baseline law.
Under the UNCLOS, the Scarborough Shoal is within the
200 nautical miles limit of our Economic Zone and if the
Scarborough Shoal is taken by China, our Economic Zone is
reduced to 124 nautical miles from our territorial sea
measured 12 nautical miles from our baseline.
The Rome Statute, as adopted by Congress in RA No.
9851 An act defining and penalizing crimes against
International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

crimes against humanity, organizing jurisdiction,


designating special courts, and for related purposes,
adopts
superior
responsibility
and
command
responsibility which have the effect of sidelining the
defense under the Arias doctrine previously available to
heads of office who relied on the recommendation of the
subordinate. Superior responsibility of public officers
requiring exercise of due diligence free from any fault or
negligence negates the Arias doctrine as a defense for head
of office in anti-graft charges.

7.

How to Answer
Bar Questions
The purpose of Bar Review is to acquire adequate
knowledge of the law.

Whether the questions are Multiple Choice, Essay Type


or Performance Test, the answer is based on the applicable
law, whether the general principle, or the exception, or even
the exception to the exception is applicable.
MCQs
The Multiple Choice Question may be answered
correctly, in whatever form it is framed, whether to test your
knowledge of the law or to test your ability to analyze the
problem.
The MCQs may be in the form of a question answerable
by yes or no with choices accompanied by legal reason, the
correct answer among which has the correct re-statement of
the law.
The MCQs may be in the form of a restatement of the
law, with the first part or stem stated and the complete
statement of the law is given among the four choices.
The MCQs may also be in the form of a problem, stating
the facts, and the solution is one of the four choices.
In whatever form, focus and adequate knowledge of the
law are imperative in answering MCQs. One tip or technique I
learn from experts on teaching MCQs abroad is to read first
the choices before reading the stem or the problems. This
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

way the time speed in the process of analyzing the correct


answer is reduced by one-half. The human mind works better
than a computer, and the search for the correct answer is
shortened by reading first the choices.

II
SPEED READING
COMPREHENSION,
POWER MEMORY
AND
THE ART OF LISTENING AND
TAKING NOTES
Speed reading and comprehension have 2 aspects in
tandem, Physical and Intellectual.

Physical Aspect
Read in group of words, not word for word, or group of
letters in a long word, at each eye fixation before you
transfer to another eye fixation as you go on reading. The
trick is to expand the eye span at a glance. This can be
achieved by practicing panoramic view like looking at a
picture which the eyes see the whole picture at one glance.
Panoramic eye span may be gained by practice. When
riding a car, look at the bill boards and try to see the entire
picture and try to read the words at a glance in one fixation
of the eyes.
Applied to reading, try to see as many words in one eye
fixation before transferring the eye fixation to another group
of words. This way, the eyes do not get tired easily than in
word for word reading. When you can finish each line in just
2 or 3 eye fixations, you must have increased your reading
speed by at least 3 times.
As your panoramic view expands and you can see in
one eye fixation more words in a group of words in a line or
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

the entire line itself, you increase your reading speed


considerably.
The human eyes are like a camera or search lights that
focus on the printed words in search of ideas. Concentrate
on the key words and digest the idea before transferring to
the next eye fixation. The purpose of reading is to obtain the
information or message imparted by the printed words.
What is more important is to comprehend the ideas
involved before proceeding to the next group of words as
you proceed to read. Speed reading without comprehension
serves no purpose. Read with your mind through your eyes
to get the ideas in much the same way that you listen for
the ideas, not for the words uttered when listening in
lectures.
Correct practice makes perfect. Now you can read more
materials with lesser time and lesser eye fatigue. The more
you read the better you achieve panoramic eye span and the
more speedy your reading comprehension becomes.

ON VARIOUS KIND OF THINKING


Reading is essentially thinking and comprehension.
The focus and degree of concentration depends on the kind
of thinking and concentration required. For newspapers and
novels not much thinking and comprehension are required
because the purpose is only to be informed and entertained.
Look only for the key words in each line. Newspapers have
narrow columns that may be read downwards since you can
see the line in one glance or eye fixation. For newspapers
and novels and other light materials, light thinking as in
reverie, as the mind wanders freely, is involved.
According to FRANCIS BACON some words are to be
tasted, others to be chewed and digested. Reading materials
for Bar review must be chewed and digested. More time is
spend to understand and commit to memory the important
information of what, when, where, how, and why of things
are required.

POWER MEMORY
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

Speed reading and comprehension and power


memory have common ingredients. The idea is obtained in
reading, and it is better retained in the memory if it is fully
understood. Memorization techniques consist of repetition
and association. Repetition may be visual or audio or
kinestatic. By repetitive reading (visual method) legal
principles are committed to memory. The retentive memory
is aided by hearing the principles in a lecture or from a
classmate (audio method). Retentive memory is further
enhanced if you outline and write them down in your own
words (kinestatic). The more times you memorize by
outlining legal principles in your own words, the better they
are itched in the power memory.
When I was a law student, I memorized important
provision of law by reciting them in front of a full length
mirror and when I was called upon to recite in class, I deliver
the legal provision verbatim like reciting a favorite poem.
Until now I can recite from memory the provisions I
memorized when I was a student in the U.P college of law,
where Professors like Maria Clara Lopez Campus, Justice
Serafin Cuevas, Judge Arsenio Solidum, Dean Abad Santos,
would require us to recite the first the codal provisions
verbatim before we were allowed to recite on the cases and
be questioned under the stringent Socratic method of deep
legal analysis.
Before any Court of law , be it the Supreme Court , the
Court Of Appeals , the Sandigangbayan, the RTC or any
quan-judicial body, a lawyer with a good memory is
impressive. So also is a professor or lecturer who delivers
the lecture without reading from the books or notes.

ASSOCIATION
Power memory is attained by association with another
idea which is easier to remember. The lyric of a favorite song
comes automatically to mind when you hear the tune
associated with it, which has been reinforced by having
repeatedly listened to the song and the favorite tune.
Dean Candelaria of the Ateneo law school is amused
by my proposal to organize a choir to put tunes to important
codal provisions and produce songs out of them to assist
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

students to memorize difficult codal provisions, like the


definition of the territory under the constitution. By
association with a favorite tune, the provisions are easily
remembered.
When you go to a place you wish to remember, you
look for a landmark or sign which you will search when you
go to back to the place. Students not only in law, but in
medicine and other disciplines as well, have resorted to
mnemonics as an aid to memorization. I remember my
Professor, Sixto TJ de Guzman, in Obligation and Contracts,
who gave us the mnemonics for the causes for
extinguishment of obligations, which still works for me at my
present age (67 years old) in my review classes in Civil Law.
NO- novation
COM-composition
ME-merger
RE-rescission
PA-Payment
LO-loss of the thing
due
ANN-annulment
RE-remission
REP-resolutory
Condition
PRES-prescription
The common element in speed reading is
comprehension. One cannot remember what he does not
comprehend.
Critical analysis and evaluation as applied to particular
factual situation strongly reinforce power memory. Be aware
of the important contemporary legal history like the
Scarborough Shoal, the Spratlys Islands and the Sabah
claims, and think of the legal principles involved on
sovereignty, territory and modes for pacific settlement of
disputes between nations. If your interest is sufficiently
excited, the study of law becomes a labor of love, filled with
excitement and intellectual satisfaction. At any age, the
brain cells continue to grow by physical and mental
exercises, to continue to shine in use, not to rust
unvarnished according to Alfred Lord Tennyson in his
classic poem Ulysses.

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

The law is better understood and remembered by


learning the philosophy behind the law, the purpose, goal
and objective sought to be served by the law known as the
legislative intent.
Even equity, which is a principle of fairness and justice,
that provides remedy and relief outside the law, seeks to
serve the ends of justice and equity by punishing bad faith
and rewarding good faith under the Natural Law of right and
wrong developed in common law countries embraced
through the Philippine Civil Code as general supplementary
principles applicable in cases where there is no applicable
law.1

THE ART OF LISTENING AND TAKING DOWN


NOTES
Keep in mind that listening ability is a tool of learning,
in the same way that reading is a means of acquiring
information and expanding knowledge.
Good listening is one of the best ways for improving
speaking and language facility. By doing a good job at
listening you will improve your oral language facility. This is
very important when you go into the practice of law, or in
any field of human endeavor where facility of language is
definitely a superior advantage.
The importance of the ability to be a good listener
cannot be exaggerated. A great part of the professional life
is spent in listening. A poor listener in a trial cannot be a
good lawyer. If he misses the issue, his discussions and
presentation of evidence would be irrelevant and immaterial,
a sure formula for defeat.

COMMON ELEMENTS IN SPEED READING AND


EXCELLENT LISTENING
In listening, as in reading, look for the main ideas. While
you hear all the words you search with your mind the ideas
constructed by the words, which is exactly the same
technique in speed reading for better comprehension. You
1

Art. 9. No Judge or Court shall decline to render judgment by reason of silence,


obscurity or insufficiency of the laws.
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

pay more attention on the ideas imparted by the printed


words.
Through concentration, focus and full attention, you
should not miss any preceding ideas, because unlike in
reading, you do not have the opportunity to backtrack since
the oral presentation is continuous. In a sense, listening
requires more concentrated attention than in reading,
though in reading the same focus and full attention so as not
to back tract are an element of excellent reading.
In making an outline and taking down notes from the
lectures, do not write down all the words. Listen carefully
and take down notes only of the important ideas in summary
form. You spend more time listening for the ideas and a
small amount of time summarizing them.
1. Common elements of speed reading, power memory
and taking down notes.
Note:
Look for the key words or main idea of legal
principles and the rationale/philosophy behind the law for
better comprehensive and retentive memory.
A.

English Grammar and legal writing.

1. Be brief, concise and straight to the point. Brevity is


the soul of sense.
2. Avoid unnecessary words
3. Follow basic rules of grammar agreements on
a)

number

b)

gender

c)

tense

B. Mathematical
problems.

Approach

in

solving

legal

1. Multiple
choice,
definitions,
distinctions
and
enumeration call for mechanical application of the
knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles
of law and their essential elements. This is analogous to
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

Algebra which requires mastery of the formulas and their


application in solving mathematical problems.
2. In solving legal problems with complicated facts,
more focus and intense concentration are required to
identify the issues and apply the legal principles involved.
Deep thinking and concentration are necessary to
comprehend and analyze the facts because any
misapprehension of facts may spell disaster.
Famous Philosopher Francis Bacon advised students
who cannot concentrate to study mathematics. If his mind
be wandering, let him study mathematics. Whether you
study mathematics or not, you should learn focus and
concentration and deep deductive or inductive analysis in
solving legal problems. Go over past bar questions with
answers prepared by the UP Law Center and consider how
the Answers have been formulated by the Panel of Experts
commissioned by the law center to answer bar questions.
The answers are not treatises on the subject, but are the
result of divergent analyses of the best legal minds providing
alternative answers to Bar problems as study guide for bar
reviewees.
If the bar problem presents a borderline issue, you may
use the deductive analysis or reasoning, by presenting first
your grounds or reasons or arguments and then making your
conclusion at the end. On the other hand, if the issue is a
settled one under a Supreme Court decision or a clearly
applicable codal provision, use the inductive method by
giving a categorical answer then supporting it with reasons.
A problem assigned with big percentage point calls for
several reasons, whether under deductive or inductive
analysis approach.
The key element in the study of mathematics is the
ability to focus and concentrate in the analysis of given facts
and the applications of the formula. As a student of
mathematics progresses to Geometry and Calculus, he
learns the reverse process of the derivation of the formula,
which is analogous to deducting reasoning in logic and
philosophy.
Mathematics is cited here to dramatize the need for the
ability to focus and concentrate for a better comprehension,
enhanced power memory and resulting improved ability to
think deeper in solving legal problems.
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

C.

Sound Mind in a Sound Body

1. How to stay physically fit


2. Proper diet and exercises
The brain functions better on an empty, not on a full
stomach
1) better blood circulation
2) banana for power memory
D.

Legible handwriting

Learn to write legibly and very fast.


1) Writing hand should be relaxed writing in poetic
motion like dancing the Ballet.
2) Standing wide round words are more legible and
easier to read.
3) If your writing hand becomes tense, close open and
stretch your fingers and the writing hand to relax your hand
and let it flow again as you write in poetic motion like
dancing the ballet.
4) Do not take the Bar until you can write legibly and
fast. I flunk my students whose handwritings I cannot
decipher.

Planning for the Bar Review


A.
Consult the Bar coverage for each subject and get
codal provisions for the coverage, particularly the recent
legislation and amendments.
1. Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 amending
Art. 12 (2 & 3) of the Revised Penal Code (See De Castro,
Reviewer on Special Penal Laws, 2006 Rex Ed., p. 231)
2. Amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure
a)

Aggravating circumstance

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

b)
Bail
c)
Jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court to conduct
preliminary Investigation
d)
Prejudicial Question
3. Amendments to the Civil Code
a)
Change of first name and nickname without
judicial action.
b)
Use of surname of illegitimate father and change
of surname of illegitimate children without judicial action.
B. Budget your time and Prepare Schedule for
the Review
Avoid cramming. Study with vigor and vengeance one
day at a time in accordance with a well-planned study
schedule, with adequate rest period in between.
C.

Review materials

1. Codal Provisions
2. Textbooks used in the regular course
3. 1st (green) and 2nd (blue) Study Guide for the Bar
for updates and outline of different subjects; and Reviewer in
Special Penal Law of Prof. Arturo de Castro.
4. Pointers In Criminal Law by Sandiganbayan Justice
Edilberto Sandoval, Dean Carlos Ortega Notes on Criminal
Law, available in manuscript form compiled by UP & Ateneo
reviewees, and soon to be edited updated and published by
Dean Ortega himself thru the law center publication.
5. Textbooks on Labor by Prof. Asuzena and Prof.
Salvador Poquiz, respectively, and the handouts of Dean
Froilan Bacungan and Prof. Domingo Desini, which hopefully
shall be published soon by the UP Law Center.
6. Commercial Law Reviewer of Dean Cesar Villanueva
of the Ateneo Law School and Notes and Comments on
Commercial Laws of Prof. Catindig to be released soon.
Justice Vitugs Commercial Law Reviewer (2006 ed.) just
released off the press.
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

7. Outlines of Civil Law of Professors Eduardo Labitag


and Danny Concepcion and Carmelo Sison, respectively.
(under preparation)
8. Notes and
Bartolome Corale.

Comments

on

Insurance

by

Dean

9. Florence Regalados Criminal Law and Remedial Law


Textbooks are excellent reference materials.
D. Identify important principles for emphasis in
your review.
1. Have an overview of
coverage for each Bar Subject.

the

subject

matter

and

2. Study Past Bar Questions and Suggested Answers of


the UP Law Center.
3. Keep abreast of current events bearing on
controversial local issues such as grounds for Impeachment
and international issues on the spratly island, the universal
jurisdiction of the [International Criminal Court, under the
Rome Statute as adopted by Philippine Domestic Letigation,
UN Charter, Security Council (who is the Secretary General),
and the composition (permanent membership thereof)].
4. Anticipate Questions that may be asked in each bar
subject.

Study Plan and Schedule for Each


Subject
A.
Follow the schedule. The more productive time you
devote each day, the more prepared you will be for the Bar.
B.
Outline the important provisions/principles in each
subject. You will have only the time to go back to your notes
in the pre-week. It is physically impossible to go back to the
materials all over again. The more you go back to your notes
during the Pre-Bar Review, the better the comprehensive and
retention in the memory.
C.
Study the subject matter before attending the
lecture. The lecturer will highlight the significant principles,
and will integrate and correlate related doctrines. Pay
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

particular attention when the lecturer makes the correlation


and integration. You will understand and remember better if
you see the inter-relations among kindred principles in the
various subjects in the Bar.
D. Take down notes by writing down the main ideas in
outline form during the lecture. The physical process of
writing it down makes it easier for you to remember and at
the same time you have the opportunity to practice and
learn to write legibly and fast. Legible writing is a skill
developed only through practice. The more you write, the
better you learn how to write legibly with ease and speed.

Integration of All Subjects


A.
Outline in your own style and manner in simplified
form the Constitution, from cover to cover in your own key
words. The key ideas or phrases you imagine will be indelible
in your memory.
B.
Classify all the provisions of the Constitution
among the 8 subjects, and include them in the separate
notebook for each subject.
C.
Outline the significant codal provisions in each Bar
subject. For an overview and integration for each subject,
consult the Pre-Week Reviewers of well-known Bar
Reviewers.

Updates on Leading Recent Cases


and Substantive and Procedural Law
1.
The Handouts of the UM College of Law on updates
in Law and Jurisprudence.
2.
Read the Pre-Month and Pre-Week Hand-Outs and
Predictions and outlines on each subject for the 2013 Bar to
be made available in the Deans Office, UM College of Law.
3.
Get hand outs from the Bar Ops of your respective
law schools.

DIET, MEDITATION, AND PHYSICAL FITNESS


BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY


Preparation for the Bar requires optimum physical
fitness, which may be maintained by proper diet and
physical exercises balanced with steady goal and purpose to
live a good life.
A.

A good life

A man to be good in any chosen filed must first of all be


a good man. A public servant to be a good public servant
must essentially be good man.
A good life is a matter of choice and dedication to the
cherished principles and philosophies by which one lives his
life:
1.
Genuine happiness springs from a clear
conscience coming from being at peace with the world and
humanity.
2.
Inner peace is the reward for being kind and fair to
our fellow men.
3.
Happiness is also the result of courage and firm
character to admit mistakes and rectify a grave error and
injustice. It takes courage to apologize for an offense to
assuage a hurt feeling and in the process cleanse and purify
the heart.
4.
Deep hurt feelings may be avoided with
compassion and kind understanding towards others.
Sometimes, being hurt may be spared by assuming that the
grave offense is not intended. It has been said that we are
hurt most by the people we love, but the pain in the heart is
the result of subjective interpretation. With a little more
understanding and kindness, the hurt feelings may be
spared or minimized.
5.
Revenge and retaliation are ignoble goals. Hate is
a bigger burden in the heart of the hater than its object.
According to Everson, it is more noble to forget that to hate
people who have done an unpardonable offense to you. This
way, heavy burden is relieved.

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

B.

A Busy Life

According to Albert Switzer, living a busy life spares one


from anxiety and unnecessary fears and worries. Hardly
having all the time for the project at hand, one will not have
the energy nor the time to worry, to hate or indulge in
destructive feelings.
C.

Prayers and Meditation

The natural order in the Universe and the immutable


laws of right and wrong and the established precepts of
justice and equity which punish bad faith and malice and
reward honesty, fairness and good faith convince me of the
existence of a Supreme Being who looks after humanity with
infinite wisdom.
Having faith in a just and fair Supreme Being is a strong
source of courage and confidence. Prayers and meditations
not only heal the spirit but also boost the physical wellbeing.
God will answer your prayers, but you keep your part of
the bargain. Promise to be just and fair and be a good
Christian Lawyer to serve the poor and God will help and
guide you through your ordeals in the Bar.

PHYSICAL EXERCISES AND DIET


As you study for the Bar, you also develop and
strengthen your natural anti-bodies against sickness through
physical exercises, diet and living a good life.
A. Walking is the Best Exercise
Physical exercises, such as basketball, swimming,
biking, badminton, thread mill, promote health of mind, body
and spirit.
Physical exercise is a known cure for depression
because as it relaxes our nerves, it also makes us more
cheerful. As the blood circulation through the brain improves,
the mind becomes more efficient and retentive.

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

Physical exercise burns calories and brings down the


level of sugar in the blood which makes for better blood
circulation to the vital organs of the body.
Of all the physical exercises, walking by far is the best
and most recommended. Walk at least 3 times a week for
one hour each day. The more exercise you do the better for
the body. Climbing the stairs is also a good exercise.
Whatever program of exercise you have, do not neglect
to do it while reviewing for the Bar. Before you start with new
work out, please consult a Doctor.
From the book Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth,
five yoga movements which can be done inside the house in
3 to 5 minutes will make you perspiring profusely.
B. Diet
Consult a doctor before you embark on an exercise
program and ask for the Diet regiment suitable for you to
bring you to your suitable weight.
As a general rule:
1.
Do not eat more than what your body needs.
Anything in excess becomes poison detrimental to your
health and well-being. Benjamin Franklin said: Nobody has
ever regretted having eaten less.
2.

Avoid fatty food.

3.
Reduce intake of protein and increase intake of
vegetables and grains (fibrous carbohydrates)
4.
Avoid soft drinks and sweets. Excessive sugar
intake increases sugar level in the blood which hampers
circulation to the brain and other vital organs of the body.
Follow the advice of your Doctor or Dietitian on the
kinds of food stuffs to eat.
C. Health Care
During this critical period of reviewing for the Bar,
avoid getting sick.
BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters
By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013

1. Be kind to your body, do not smoke and do not drink


alcohol.
2. Have complete rest and sleep at night. Avoid
nightclubs.
3. Avoid crowded places, like the movie houses and
cockpits, and avoid people with colds, coughs and flu.
Eat plenty of vegetables and take vitamins. Prevention
is better than cure.
ANNOUNCEMENT
University of Manila College of Law is launching a program
called BAR DIAGNOSTIC TESTING to assess the level
preparedness of barristers to take the Bar by administering
MOCK BAR Exams simulating the actual Bar Examinations.
Anticipated question in the coming Bar shall be given under
the same time pressure, and the answers will be evaluated
and remedial tutorial lectures will be given as may be
necessary.
Intensive instructions on speed reading and comprehension,
memorization skills, Elementary English Grammar and
Composition, and how to answer Bar questions shall be
given before the Mock Bar Exams.
Watch for the announcement of the schedules by the Office
of the Dean, and invite reviewees from other schools who
may be interested in the Bar Diagnostic Testing of the
University of Manila College of Law.

BAR PASSERS GUIDE BOOK Preliminary Chapters


By: Dr. Arturo M. De Castro (LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.)
June 15, 2013