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Tribal law

Tribal law

Now whence arises the distinction between true dreams and false ones? and if true dreams come from God, from whence come the false ones? — Cicero

By Adrian E. Cristobal

IT wasn’t easy for the Court of Appeals to issue a restraining order on the oath-taking of 14,000 nurses. Although the Professional Regulation Commission and the Board of Nursing have 60 days to answer petitioners College of Nursing Faculty Association of the University of Sto. Tomas, League of Concerned Nurses, and Binuklod na Samahan ng mga Student Nurse, the fate of many hangs in the balance because of the cupidity of the few.

This is a modern application of the tribal law of punishing the whole community for the infractions of a few. It’s certainly unjust if those who passed the exams, especially those who topped them, honestly, would have to take them again.

If one hand offends you, cut off both hands?

The right and just thing of course is to conduct a detailed scrutiny of the examination papers, but this is impossible. Apart from the expense, there is also the problem of having enough qualified personnel for the herculean task.

In this case, the universality of the law is like the rain which falls on the just and unjust alike. The unidentified culprits get a second chance, the innocent are made to suffer a second ordeal.

But the root of the problem lies with the PRC and BoN, since the leak must have been the work of insiders or, which is most likely, a syndicate with inside connections. Not that knowing this will do much good. The harm’s been done and it will take a lot of legal wisdom to convince the CA to lift the TRO.

If memory serves, a similar problem with a past bar exam was resolved without harming a large number of candidates. Memory no longer serves how this was resolved.

But the nursing scandal at this time is particularly vicious, since a nursing license has become the passport for coveted jobs and better lives abroad. For many of the 14,000 nursing candidates, the scandal is a threat to the Filipino dream.


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