By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – A graduate of the University of the East (UE) not only became the first woman Muslim lawyer to have landed in the top 10, but also the third Maranao to have finished second in the bar examinations.
Prince Fatima T. Parahiman scored 89.5230 perccent in the 2019 bar exams to finish second behind Mae Diane Azores of University of Santo Tomas-Albay.
Parahiman became the first female Muslim lawyer to have made it to the Top 10 bar passers – a feat the officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Lanao del Sur hailed in various social and traditional media networks.
She belongs to the Lanao region’s Maranao tribe, which has produced two male second placers in the bar exams, according to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
The first Maranao second placer was the late Macapanton Abbas Sr., who pulled off the feat in the 1940s on his way to becoming the country’s first Muslim lawyer.
Abbas was the father of renowned sibling-lawyers – Ferdausi and Mapanton Jr.
Another Maranao lawyer ranked second in the bar exams in the 1970s was Kamar Boloto of Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
Aside from being a bar topnotcher, Baloto also held the distinction of being the first Muslim to top the board examination for certified public accountants, according to records in the Mindanao State University-Marawi main campus where he served as finance director.
Officials from BARMM agencies and the provincial government of Lanao del Sur also took pride in announcing that more than 50 of the 2,103 passers in the 2019 bar exam were from BARMM, most of them belonging to the Maranao tribe.