Updated: Jul 4, 2021
By: Atty. Jez Charlemagne Arago
Commercial Law/ Mercantile Law is the fifth subject of the Philippine Bar Exams and the first for the third Bar Sunday. By the time you take this exam, you are already exhausted and you just want to finish everything so you can finally rest.
This Bar subject is complex because it covers many laws and subjects. Some of which are subjects in law school which you really have to enroll like Negotiable Instruments Law, Insurance Law, and Corporation Law; while others are topics discussed in one of your law classes like the Trust Receipt Laws, Letter of Credit and Data Privacy Act.
With the broad coverage, one might get overwhelmed with the readings. There can also be panic because it is hard to find a reading material that covers all the topics. There might not be one material available now which can cover all the topics for this subject but there are many materials available that you can use as a supplement to your main reading material to cover all the Bar topics.
Among the books that you can use for Mercantile are the following:
Dean Sundiang and Atty. Aquino are two of the biggest names in Commercial Law. They have been teaching the subject for a very long time. Lawyers and students alike say that when you are under these two legal luminaries and you passed their subjects, you have a strong foundation on those subjects. That is why using their book as a bar reviewer is not a bad idea.
Their book makes a very technical subject look easy. Aside from discussing the concepts of law, sample problems with answers are also included at the end of every topic to test if you really understood what you have just read. It is concise and presents only the basics and the essentials of each topic. You are sure that the time you spend on reading this book is worthwhile as you are reading only the things that you really need to know and you can use them in answering the Bar questions.
This book is one of the few law books that is paperback. It is more or less 600 pages so you are sure that you can finish this book within a short period of time. The font size is just the average font size and there are enough white spaces so your eyes will not easily get tired while reading.
The only problem with this book is the missing formulas needed to get certain values. They were present in the old editions of the book but maybe due to editing and revising issues, are missed in the newer editions.
Reviewer on Commercial Law by Jose R. Sundiang, Sr. and Timoteo Aquino is available in all Rex Bookstore branches.
Justice Dimaampao is one of the most sought after Bar reviewers in different review centers. That is why, it is no surprise that he authored Bar reviewers for different Bar subjects, one of which is the Bar reviewer for Commercial Law.
From the title itself, you will know that this book is not thick. It is more or less 550 pages with a big font size. You can use this book either as your main reading material or as a supplement to your main reading material. But I will not advice you to use this as your pre-week material despite the title. This is too long for pre-week. Your materials for the pre-week must not be as thick as a book. Come pre-week, you should refrain from reading books and read-only reliable notes.
Like the Sundiang-Aquino reviewer, this book also has sample questions with answers at the end of each topic. Some of these questions are even the same as Sundiang-Aquino. Moreover, previous Bar questions are also included; so, you can get yourself familiar with how Bar questions are crafted and must be answered.
Justice Dimaampao and Judge Dumlao-Escalante also added probable Bar questions and their answers. You should give attention to these probable Bar questions because Justice Dimaampao is one of the most frequent Bar examiners.
As the book is not as thick as other Bar reviewers, you can finish this within a short period of time. You can even read this twice if this is your main reading material.
It is somehow identical with the Sundiang-Aquino reviewer. The only difference is that there are topics here that are not discussed in the Sundiang-Aquino reviewer.
However, you must be very observant when reading this book as there are some topics in the Securities and Regulations Code (SRC) and Banking Laws that are not updated or were missed during revisions.
Pre-week Reviewer in Commercial Law by Japar B. Dimaampao and Ella Dumlao-Escalante is available in all Central Bookstore branches.
As the Commercial Law syllabus constantly includes the latest laws, there are no textbooks available to discuss these latest laws. Barristers use the notes of Bar reviewers and review centers to cover these new topics.
One of the most reliable notes for Commercial Law is the Bar Reminders of Atty. Maria Zarah R. Villanueva-Castro. The Bar Reminders cover not only the major topics in Commercial Law but also the minor laws included in the syllabus, especially the new laws and the topics which were not thoroughly discussed in books.
If you are having a hard time understanding the SRC, Atty. Zarah will help you understand it through her notes; so, you sure know the answer in case an SRC question appears in the Bar. Her notes are very helpful as she will make sure that no topic is missed in the syllabus. This is a must-read during pre-week.
Atty. Zarah's notes come out during the pre-week. Make sure that you have a copy of this and you are sure covered for Commercial Law.