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Malacañang distances itself from nursing exam leakage issue

Malacañang distances itself from nursing exam leakage issue


Malacañang yesterday said it would not a lift a finger in the raging scandal triggered by an alleged leak in the June 2006 nursing licensure examination for now.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the Professional Regulation Commission has the situation "under control" despite complaints the state-run agency allegedly mismanaged the last licensure exams.

"Our assessment is that the situation is under control. We don’t see any reason as of this time for the Palace to intervene," Bunye said in a news conference in the Palace.

A group of nursing school deans has asked President Arroyo to accept the resignation of the seven-member Board of Nursing of the PRC and appoint a temporary caretaker board until the December exams may be prepared.

The PRC has pushed through with the oath-taking of new nurses despite an ongoing probe by the National Bureau of Investigation on the alleged test leak. The agency also threatened to revoke the licenses of nurses found guilty of benefiting from the leakage based on the results of the NBI investigation.

The controversy stemmed from the complaint of an examinee who testified before a Senate inquiry that she saw other examinees from R.A. Gapuz Review Center reading photocopies which she later found out the leaked questions from the review center.

Rachel Cyndi-Erfe has since been joined in her complaint by 91 other examinees and 425 intervenors. The controversy triggered a debate whether all the 42,000 examinees retake the licensure test to maintain its integrity and standard.

As this developed, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez defended yesterday this year’s nursing examinees from the sanction imposed by the PRC, which invalidated portions of the over-all nursing test.

He said it is most unfair to impose such sanction considering that it affects even the innocent examinees.

"That’s unfair for the majority of those who took the test, who did not cheat. Why are you punishing them? They worked for it. I don’t think the integrity of the exam board should be used to punish those students who passed the exam," he said.

Gonzalez said the leakage of information on the tests should not be taken as cheating committed by the examinees. (with a report by Gabriel Mabutas)


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