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Court restraining order comes too late as some nurses take their oath

Court restraining order comes too late as some nurses take their oath

The Court of Appeals on Friday stopped the oath-taking of the new nurses who took their licensure exams on June 12.

The temporary restraining order, however, came too late to stop about 1,000 nurses in Cebu City from taking their oath.

In a decision written by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, the court also ordered the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) not to enforce Board Resolution 31, which the PRC issued to invalidate two portions of the exams that were allegedly leaked.

“The respondents and all those acting in their behalf are directed to cease and desist from enforcing the assailed Board Resolution 31 dated July 17 and from proceeding with the oath-taking allegedly scheduled on August 22,” the court said.

It said it was still studying a petition to invalidate the results of the June 12 nursing licensure exams. The court set a hearing for preliminary injunction on September 14 and gave the PRC and the Board of Nursing 10 days to comment.

Members of the UST College of Nursing Faculty Association, the League of Concerned Nurses and the Binuklod na Samahan ng Student Nurses petitioned for the TRO.

The PRC on Thursday issued a memorandum allowing the oath-taking of new nurses, some of whom might have benefited from the leakage. Several hundred new nurses took their oaths in Metro Manila and Cebu before the court issued the TRO.

Leonor Tripon-Rosero, PRC chairman, said the commission has yet to receive a copy of the court order.

She defended the PRC decision to allow the oath-taking, adding that a majority of deans of nursing colleges nationwide supported the decision. “The sentiments of the deans are no retake and to proceed with the oath-taking,” Rosero told the ABS-CBN News Channel.

She added that the integrity of the licensure exams remained intact after the PRC invalidated two portions of the exams that were allegedly leaked.

PRC Commissioner Avelina de la Rea told DZMM that the commission is stopping all oath-taking ceremonies in the country in compliance with the court order. She added, however, that the PRC would process the licenses of nurses who took their oaths before the TRO was issued.

Dean Marco Antonio Sto. Tomas, vice-president of the Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing, said the PRC’s decision to allow the oath-taking could affect the new nurses.

Sto. Tomas said the new nurses could have their licenses revoked if the National Bureau of Investigation proves that they benefited from the leakage.

He said the association is pushing for a retake of Tests 3 and 5 of the licensure exams to ensure the competency of the new nurses.

He said the group is also set to petition President Arroyo to accept the resignations of nursing board members linked to the scandal. He added that members of the Board of Nursing should “not be engaged in review activities or serving as deans or faculty in any college of nursing” to prevent conflict of interest.

A report issued by a PRC fact-finding probe revealed that George Cordero, president of the Philippine Nurses’ Association, paid P7 million to get the leakage.

The report said the leaked questions came from the manuscripts of nursing board members Anesia Dionisio and Virginia Madeja. The leaked questions and answers were later shown for a fee to 1,000 students in a Manila cinema three days before the board exam.

Dionisio and Madeja offered their resignations, which were not accepted until the NBI finishes its probe. Other members of the board also offered to resign.

Cordero has resigned as PNA president. He was replaced by PNA vice-president for finance Dr. Marylin Yap.

In Cebu 1,374 new nurses took their oaths, apparently unaware that the TRO had been issued. There were also oath-taking ceremonies in Iloilo and Bacolod cities.

DZMM correspondent Jun Reyes said Dan Malayang, director of the Professional Regulation Commission for Western Visayas, said some of the board passers came from Manila and Mindanao.

He added that Rosero approved the oath-taking.

The PRC issued Thursday morning Memorandum Order 2006-02 ordering the oath-taking of new nurses, some of whom might have benefited from the test leakage.

“Please be informed that the conduct of oath-taking for those who have passed the June 2006 Nursing Board Examination starts today, August 17, 2006, at your respective regions,” the memorandum signed by Rosero said.

An ABS-CBN Bandila report said board passers in Manila had already attended several oath-taking ceremonies after the PRC memo was issued.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Education leading the probe, scored the PRC for issuing the order.

“The PRC is violating the integrity and standard of the licensure exams by fast-tracking [the oath-taking],” he said.

The NBI, meanwhile, is set to include in its probe 22 deans of nursing colleges who allegedly participated in the review and coaching session held on June 8 and 9 at a cinema in Manila.

Testimonies from at least two examinees are also being considered as basis for the NBI probe.

Other witnesses said they are willing to come forward and provide information.

“They want to come forward but are afraid. In due time, they will provide information,” said Carmelita Divinagracia, a member of the association of deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing.


in due time?! nyaaaaaaaahahahaha!

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