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Nursing student says she’s no whistleblower

Nursing student says she’s no whistleblower

By Jefferson Antiporda, Reporter

A nursing student on Monday denied reports she was the source of leaked answers in the nursing licensure examination held in June.

In a three-page affidavit sworn to before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, Pamela Ortega from the Philippine College of Health Sciences also denied an allegation made by Sister Letty Kuan, a member of the Board of Nursing, that she overheard Dr. George Cordero saying he “did not pay P7 million for nothing” at the final coaching of nursing candidates at SM Cinema in Manila.

“I did not give Sister Kuan any handwritten or typewritten notes,” Ortega said in the affidavit. “It is also not correct that I told her I am willing to testify.

“In the first place I went there just to know what was the status of the board examination.”

She said it is not true, as alleged by Dennis Bautista, that they met at SM Manila Cinema. She said she didn’t even know the man.

At a hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Reorganization, Sister Kuan said Ortega told her something about the alleged leakage in the licensure exam.

But in the affidavit, Ortega said she met Kuan only on June 17. She said she called the Gapuz Review Center to verify reports about the alleged leakage in the examination. She went to the center on the instruction of the person who answered the telephone.

At the center, she said she met the owner, Mr. Gapuz himself, who asked her to come with him to the Professional Regulation Commission to talk to members of the Board of Nursing.

But instead of going to the PRC, Ortega said they went to a place that looked like a convent, where they met Sister Kuan. She said she was surprised when Sister Kuan asked her questions about the leakage.

“I am executing this affidavit to refute allegations that the leaked questionnaire or notes came from me,” she added.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas said it would file a petition with the Court of Appeals to invalidate the oath taken by the nurses who passed the controversial examination.

“[We want] to invalidate the oath on the ground that [the PRC] lowered the passing grade,” said Dante Ang, chairman of the CFO, in a radio interview. “It has brought down the level of competence. This is not a question of statistics. How competent are those who passed the examination? We are talking about the lives of people here.”

Ang said his group would ask the appellate court to order a retake on Tests 3 and 5, the modules that allegedly found their way into the hands of the candidates.

Some 17,000 of the 42,000 candidates passed the licensure examination.

The court had issued a 60-day temporary restraining order prohibiting the oath-taking. But some of those who passed the examination, particularly in Manila and parts of the Visayas, were able to take their oath of office before the order reached them.

The National Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation to determine who leaked the test questions to the students, concentrating on at least two review centers and several nursing colleges.


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