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Senate uncovers 'proof' of nursing exam anomaly

THE leakage in the 2006 Nurses Licensure Examination was further "proven" on Wednesday's Senate hearing into the alleged cheating.

During the hearing of the Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization, an owner of a nursing school and review center reportedly shelled out P7 million for the leakage.

Dr. Letty Kuan, a member of the Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing, said that a certain examinee Pamela Ortega from the Philippine College of
Health Sciences (PCHS) overheard school owner George Cordero say that he "did not pay P7 million for nothing."

Ortega, who sought the help of Kuan, overheard the remarks during the June 9 final coaching conducted by the PCHS at SM Cinema 9 in SM Manila.

Senator Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the Senate civil service committee, said there are reports that two members of the Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing were also sent to Switzerland using the money.

Eufemia Octaviano, Board of Nursing chairperson, admitted she was one of the persons who traveled to Geneva to attend the International Council of Nurses but said she paid for her expenses.

Anesia Dionisio, one of the two Board of Nursing members who were recommended by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to be charged administratively for their alleged involvement in the alleged leakage, reportedly went to Switzerland also.

During the hearing, Dennis Cesar Bautista, an examinee from the PCHS, said Cordero headed the June 8 and June 9 final coaching for nursing examinees where he invited his "friends" from nursing schools and colleges.

The June 8 final coaching, according to Cordero, who also owned Inress Review Center, the in-house review center of PCHS, told the examinees of the June 11 and June 12 Nurses Licensure Examination, that it only covered Test III of the exam covering Psychiatric Nursing.

The June 9 final coaching covered Medical-Surgical topic, which is the Test V of the examination.

"These are the items only included in the final coaching because these are the hardest parts of the exam. You would excel in the remaining topics because you have already learned that in your review classes," Bautista quoted Cordero as saying.

Cordero, who is also president of the Philippine Nurses Association, reportedly told the examinees that 100 of the 500 questions in the June 8 final coaching will be included in the examination.

The June 9 final coaching had 300 questions.

Bautista, who was one of the successful examinees, said many examinees, including him, jot down notes. The handwritten notes apparently circulated and even went as far as Baguio City where examinees from the R.A. Gapuz Review Center got hold of the leakage. The leakage surfaced when examinees from Baguio City complained about it.

Ortega, who was not around during the Senate hearing fearing that Cordero will get back at her, also managed to get copies of the handwritten leakage.

According to Bautista, the PCHS registrar told him that Cordero ordered the holding of the diploma and transcript of records of Ortega until she clears the school owner's name from the controversy.

Bautista said he also managed to talk to Cordero several times over mobile phone. The witness claimed that Cordero called him up after sending him sent text message about the leakage.

"There should be no retake because it will be costly. I will schedule a dinner with members of the PRC and Board of Nursing," these were among the statements of Cordero stated in the sworn statement of Bautista.

Cordero added: "I'm the one being pinpointed by Gapuz because a student of mine from PCHS was the one who gave him the handwritten photocopied copy which is the evidence possessed by the PRC. That girl was vain. Do you know to whom that (leakage) is supposed to be? It's for my child."

Cordero told Bautista that there were reports that the Board of Nursing member who leaked the questionnaires had ill feelings toward him. "If this is uncovered, I won't tell that it was (her or him). I will just say that someone gave it to me whom I don't know and I just gave P20,000."

Cordero was not around during the Senate hearing. He is reportedly confined in a hospital.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita yesterday said the NBI's Anti-Fraud Division will finish its investigation on the alleged cheating in the last licensure examinations by the end of the month, after which government can file cases against those involved in the fiasco.

Ermita said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has not taken a position on the issue because she is waiting for the results of the NBI investigation and the recommendations of PRC chairperson Leonor Rosero.

He said the PRC fact-finding committee has identified two members of the Board of Nursing who could be charged administratively for negligence. He said the offer of the two officials to resign has not yet been accepted because the investigations of the PRC and NBI are ongoing.

Ermita said NBI director Nestor Mantaring told him that the NBI is due to file criminal charges from available records or evidences and that their inquiry would be finished towards the end of the month. He said some students in Baguio are coming out with more statements and testimonies on the possible source of the leakage.

He said it may be premature to expect a revamp of the PRC because the investigations are not yet finished. (REC/JMR/Sunnex)

(August 17, 2006 issue)


yang c bautista na yan... me leakage daw patestitestigo pa... e hulog naman sa NLE kya nya gngwa yan.. ang dpat nyang gwin n lang e mg review 4 their retake. wag nya idmay mga nkpas n d nandaya!!!!

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