By Nino N. Luces
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Two of the 2019 top bar examinations passers from Albay admitted that aside from their childhood dreams, the unsolved Almonacid-rape slay case has motivated them to pursue studies in law.
Mae Diane Azores, 2019 Bar topnotcher, told the Manila Bulletin that the case of her classmate and close friend Laesybil Almonacid who was raped and killed in November, 2011 was one of the underlying reasons why she pursued law.
“Maliban po sa family ko, yung kaso po ni Laesybil Almonacid ang nagtulak sa akin para kumuha ng abogasiya,” she said.
Azores recalls that she and Almonacid were seatmates in college, taking up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at Bicol University.
“Naalala ko pa nga na lagi ko siyang hinihingian ng papel nung college kami. So yun, nung namatay siya, sa burol, nakita ko talaga yung struggle ng family,” Azores narrated.
Azores who earned 91.0490%. in the 2019 Bar exam and an alumna of University of Santo Tomas – Legazpi (UST-Legazpi) is eyeing the re-opening of the Almonacid rape-lay case to give justice to her long lost friend.
“Opo, bubuksan ko kaso kasi nakita ko talaga yung hirap lalo ng pamilya. Gusto ko bigyan ng hustisya ang kanyang pagkamatay,” Azores said.
Azores disclosed that Myra Baranda, the 3rd placer in the 2019 Bar exam is also her classmate at the Bicol University and are both certified public accountants (CPA) working at the Commission on Audit (COA).
In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Myra Baranda said that aside from her childhood dream, the case of Almonacid also inspired her to take up law so she can defend the poor in court.
“Classmate ko siya sa BU and we’re also friends. Kita ko din yung hirap ng isang mahirap, so isa rin ito sa nagtulak sa akin para mag-aral ng abogasiya,” she said.
Baranda, 26, a native of Baclayon, Bacacay town in Albay province took up law at UST- Legazpi.
“Si Laesybil achiever yun, magaling yun. Ako naman since elementary, may honor din pero di ako yung laging top 1 o kaya valedictorian o kaya Summa Cum Laude,” she narrated.
Azores said that as part of her thanksgiving, she is planning to distribute relief goods to workers affected by the extended enhanced community quarantine.