Bar topnotcher motivated by friend's rape-slay case

LEGAZPI CITY --- The 2019 Bar topnotcher who lives near Mt. Mayon in this capital city, revealed recently that an unresolved rape-slay case of her friend and classmate nine years ago was her motivation to become a lawyer.

The 25-year old Mae Diane Azores, who is also a licensed accountant, said she was deeply frustrated about the case of Laesybil “Apple” Almonacid, who was her seatmate as an accounting student at Bicol University (BU).

2019 Bar examination topnotcher Mae Diane Azores (Photo from her Facebook page)


“What happened was so frustrating that it (rape-slay) motivated me to take law and to become lawyer, so that I could contribute something to the justice system,” Azores said in the Bicolano dialect during an interview over radio station Zagitzit-FM.

Azores and Almonacid were third year students at BU-College of Business, Economics and Management (CBEM), when the latter was found raped and murdered some 50 meters away from her residence in barangay Bascaran, Daraga, Albay on Nov. 2, 2011.

“Until now it seems that nobody is yet getting prosecuted that’s why it is really frustrating as Leasybil’s supposed bright future was stripped of her. She did not deserve what happened to her. She was a kind and humble person,” Azores said.

“To the parents of Laesybil, don’t lose hope. Have faith in God. Justice could still be served to Apple (as the victim was fondly called by her classmates) in the days to come,” she said.

Azores also expressed interest in looking after the plight of workers in the country who were displaced by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

She said she found very interesting discussions on Labor laws while she was still a student.

“In fact, the first person who predicted that I could be a bar topnotcher was my professor in Labor laws,” Azores said.

According to the new lawyer, her former college professor, retired judge Arnulfo Cabredo, said he told her that she could one day top the bar exam.

“Dianne was a very diligent law student. I knew she could make it in the Top 10. And she did more than that. She topped the 2019 bar exam. I am proud to be her professor and dean that time,” Cabredo said in an interview.

A cum laude Accountancy graduate, Azores was also the top student in her batch at the College of Law of the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi, formerly known as the Aquinas University of Legazpi. (PNA)