The 2011 Bar exams started had tight security placed by concerned agencies to prevent a repeat of last year’s grenade attack that left some 50 persons injured.
Over 100 operatives of Manila Police District (MPD) secured the area surrounding the University of Santo Tomas in Sampaloc, Manila as early as Saturday night. Plainclothes agents of the National Bureau of Investigation were also deployed to assist the Supreme Court (SC) in facilitating the historic Bar exams that features, for the first time, multiple-choice questions.
MPD director Senior Superintendent Alex Gutierrez said K-9 units were deployed to the area to sniff out weapons or explosives.
No untoward incidents were reported during the first day of the four-Sunday exams, according to the MPD Tactical Operations Center.
Unlike in previous years, the traditional sendoffs of fraternities and sororities were no longer allowed outside the venue. Bar Confidant and SC deputy clerk of court Ma. Cristina Layusa said this was among the key security measures taken by the high court as a result of last year’s incident.
Bar operations were held a few blocks away from the corners of streets surrounding UST as a total of 6,200 law graduates entered the venue amid a downpour.
Traffic in the area was also smooth as Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Manila District Traffic Enforcement deployed aides to guide motorists along España Boulevard, Lacson Street, Padre Noval Street and Dapitan Street. This was after authorities opted not to re-route traffic in the area.