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Court stops nurses’ oathtaking rite

Court stops nurses’ oathtaking rite

THE Court of Appeals yesterday ordered a stop to the oathtaking of over 14,000 new nurses who passed this year’s licensure exams that were tainted by cheating.

The court gave its order to the Professional Regulation Commission and the nursing board, which had scheduled the oathtaking on Aug. 22.

It ordered both groups to freeze the oathtaking for 60 days pending a decision on a petition to stop it from the University of Sto. Tomas’ nursing faculty.

Still, the court’s decision came too late for 1,374 new nurses. They took their oath in Cebu yesterday after PRC Chairman Leonor Tripon Rosero allowed the oathtaking for all successful examinees to start on Aug. 17.

The court announced its decision even as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo turned down an appeal from nursing school deans to intervene in the case.

She said she was leaving the Professional Regulation Commission to decide on the matter.

“At this point, the President still believes that the PRC has the situation under control,” Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said.

“We do not see yet the need for Malacañang intervention.”

The Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing had urged the President to accept the resignation of the seven-member nursing board, which had allegedly mishandled the licensure tests on June 11 and 12 this year.

“Our second recommendation is for Malacañang to constitute a caretaker board from now until December so that the December exams may be prepared,” group vice president Marco Antonio Sto. Tomas said.

“This will give the Philippine Nurses Association, the nominating body to the [nursing board], to screen and select the best nominees,” he said.

The PRC has come under attack for allowing the oathtaking to proceed despite the controversy over the test answers leaked to some examinees.

Senator Richard Gordon yesterday demanded that Rosero resign over the tainted tests, and was quickly supported by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr.

“Chairman Rosero should resign,” Gordon said.

“Apparently, the PRC has lost its sense of values and has bolstered [a] culture where no one is unanswerable to wrongdoing.”

Pimentel said he was supporting Gordon’s call to order PRC officials to a Senate hearing on the test leak.

“If they do not appear, they should be ordered detained for being in contempt of the Senate,” he said.

Senator Rodolfo Biazon said he recognized the commission’s authority to order the oathtaking, but that did not mean he agreed with its decision. Rey E. Requejo, Florante S. Solmerin, Joyce Pangco Pañares, Roy Pelovello


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