Commission on Audit (COA) auditors Mae Diane M. Azores and Myra M. Baranda of COA Regional Office No. V topped the 2019 Bar Examinations. Azores ranked first with a score of 91.0490% and Baranda was third with a score of 88.8250%. Both are from the University of Sto. Tomas-Legazpi (formerly Aquinas University) and are Certified Public Accountants.

Azores is a State Auditing Examiner II and an audit team member of CAAP Area Center 5, Corporate Government Sector (CGS), Cluster 4, COA Regional Office No. V. Meanwhile, Baranda has been with the Commission for the last five years and is assigned at the Daraga City auditing unit.

“My warmest congratulations to Attys. Azores and Baranda and all the Bar passers from the Commission on Audit. As you enjoy the fruit of your hard work, I encourage you to uphold justice especially for those who have less in life and live with integrity and professionalism. You have made all of us in the COA family proud,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

In an interview with DZMM, Azores said she prepared for the examinations by waking up daily at 4 am and studying for more than ten hours. "No dream is ever big, especially po sa provincial schools. We can always dream bigger. Kung iisipin talaga natin, kung kaya talaga, kaya talaga siya. Tiwala lang sa Diyos. Dasal lang talaga," Azores said in another interview with ABS-CBN News.

Baranda, for her part, said in an interview with Rappler that she wanted to remain as an auditor for the people and that she owed a lot to COA for letting her stay in Albay which allowed her to go to law school. “Ang gusto ko sa pagiging state auditor, yung interaction sa tao, naririnig mo yung hinaing nila, ever time na nag-thank you sila, fulfilling sa ‘yo na nakatulong ka in a small way,” Baranda said to Rappler.

According to the Supreme Court, there were 2,103 successful examinees out of the 7,685 who completed the Bar exams.

Other COAns who passed the 2019 Bar exam were Maria Cecilia M. Pelagio from the National Government Sector (NGS) Cluster 4, Sittee Junaira B. Dimao from NGS Cluster 6, Maria Gene D. Aguilon from CGS Cluster 2, Maria Remedios C. Mayoralgo-Acantilado from CGS Cluster 1, Alson John S. Bacani and Asnia G. Guiling from CGS Cluster 3, Samuel C. Leaño Jr. and Karine Joy M. Rosario from the Local Government Sector – National Capital Region, Darwin P. Argueza from the Commission Proper Adjudication and Secretariat Support Services Sector, Imee Ruth T. Francisco from COA Region I, Jillian Danielle M. Escobar and Casimir S. Orolaza from COA Region II, Reginald M. Arceo from COA Region IV-B, Anjelyn C. Ballon and Abigail T. Reyes from Region V, Ro Ann Marie H. Gumban, Robie V. Villa, Kathleen Jennifer Y. Go-Castro and Sophie Joyce P. Legita all from COA Region VI, Paul P. Tolomia, Niña Viola G. Lacida, Rolly B. Nivera, Jr. and Joan Karl L. Lenizo all from COA Region VII, Venus Faye G. Taboada-Oledan from COA Region VIII, Ed Manuel P. Catamco from COA Region IX, Faizal June T. Buctuan and Norhanifah M. Mambuay-Barambangan from COA Region X and Cyruz Generey G. Asidoy from COA Region XI. Joseph Bar Paulo V. Moises resigned from COA to review for the Bar. Congratulations!