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Nursing passers detest restraining order


Monday, August 21, 2006
Nursing passers detest restraining order
By Lizanilla J. Amarga

SOME of the local 2006 Nursing Licensure Examination passers and their parents cried foul to the 60-day temporary restraining order against the oath taking of recent nursing licensure examination passers believing the order "compromises their future".

The same Court of Appeals order also enjoined officials of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Board of Nursing from implementing assailed Resolution 31.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. believes that the wholesale invalidation of the nursing exams is "unfair to the innocent".

The regulatory agency, under Regional Director Estrella Malik, has conducted oath-taking ceremonies starting Thursday and Friday last week for those who successfully passed the exam here in Northern Mindanao.

Meanwhile, two successful nursing examinees Joy and Ann together with their parents believe the restraining order is unfair to those who went through the Nursing Licensure Examination last June 11 and 12 not cheating.

"We went through hell in that exams and now we who are innocents are being compromised because of what the others who benefited from the leakage did," Joy said in between sobs and wiping her tears.

"That Nursing Licensure Examination was something that we shed not only sweat and tears but we almost died because of it," she added.

Ann who also had tears in her eyes said they did not receive any copy or even a text message from their friends in Manila regarding the probable exam questions.

"Why do they want to include us? We passed fair and square," she said.

Joy and Ann who together with their parents requested that their full names will not see print for personal and "possibly legal" reasons told Sun.Star that their futures are now "severely compromised".

They said this as they are now making preparations to take other examinations and work abroad.

"Our lives will seem to be put on hold until they resolve this controversy of which we had no hand," Joy said in the dialect.

Ann added, "Not only our lives but those of the other's who because of economic crisis are really hoping to go abroad and work as nurses as soon as they can."

Joy and Ann both believe that it is unfair to invalidate the examination they took as well as requiring them to retake the exams.

"What we went through was pure torture...we don't want to go through it again," Ann said.

For former Cagayan de Oro city mayor Pimentel said, "The innocent must be spared from punishment."

He said the PRC should exhaust efforts in determining who among the examinees in the latest nursing licensure examinations benefited from the leaked questions and answers.

Pimentel took this position even as the PRC announced that successful examinees can take their oath as licensed nurses in any PRC office despite the fact that congressional investigation into the leak is still going on.

"The innocent must not be made to suffer the same fate as the guilty. What is important now is for the authorities to pinpoint the identities of those responsible for the leakage of the examination questions for nurses," he said.

The Senate, according to the senator from Mindanao, should insist on calling the PRC officials concerned to appear before the proper Senate committee.

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

Pimentel said the government, much less the Senate, should not allow this incident to pass as if everything is all right.

"Cheating demeans the integrity of the nursing profession in general," he said. "The guilty must be punished even as the innocent must not be lumped together with them. The innocent must be allowed to enjoy the glory of their honest achievement."

The CA resolution penned by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, the CA Special Third Division ordered the PRC and the BON to file their comment on the petition within 10 days, without necessarily giving due course to the petition.

The CA's order came following reports that the PRC has allowed the oath taking of new nurses in several provinces despite the pending investigation on the alleged leakage of test questions during the June 11 and 26 exams.

The board, upon the supervision of the PRC, has earlier set the schedule for the oath taking on August 22.

"To preserve the rights of the petitioners pending disposition of the subject petition and so as not to render any judgment hereon moot and academic, the TRO prayed for is granted," the CA ruled.

The appellate court also set a hearing for preliminary injunction on September 14 at 2 p.m. at the Paras Hall of the CA.

For his part, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. said suspending the oath taking would be unfair for the students who passed the exam, adding that it was well within the authority of the PRC to set the date for such activity.

"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 further said that the leakage of information on the tests should not be taken for cheating. "You can't blame (the nursing students) if they were tipped off. It would be wrong if you cheat but if you get information, you're lucky. Cheats are those who leaked the information," he said.

The filing of the petition for injunction on Thursday was led by the University of Santo Tomas (UST) school of nursing, which asked for the suspension of the August 22 oath taking of new nurses, pending the result of an investigation regarding the leakage.

Ang OA nyo, e hindi naman mandatory and highly important ang oathtaking. Umiyak lang kayo pag registration ang na-hold.

saksakan ng pagka gago ang mga faculty ng UST, ayan dagdag pasakit sa mga pumasa, sa magulang ng mga pumasa, at kaguluhan pa lalo ang idinulot!

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