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Nursing board exec arrested for swindling

Nursing board exec arrested for swindling

By Jeannette I. Andrade, Reporter

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said on Friday that it has arrested on charges of estafa and illegal recruitment a Board of Nursing examiner accused of leaking test questions in the 2006 Nursing Licensure Examination.

The examiner, Virginia Madeja, was accused of large-scale swindling of registered nurses after she reportedly introduced herself as the Filipino representative of the Florida-based company Total Care Staff Services.

Madeja was the former manager of a recruitment agency in Ermita, Manila. She was taken into custody based on a warrant issued on June 9, 2005, by Judge Guillermo Purganan of Branch 42 of the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Madeja was charged with two others for allegedly duping a number of applicants into signing up for jobs in other countries but failed to send them abroad.

The information filed in court by three complainants said Madeja approached the applicants in 2001 and promised them jobs in the United States the following year.

She showed the applicants a document with the letterhead “Care Well” company in the US to persuade them that the offer was genuine. Madeja then allegedly asked $500 from each applicant.

None of them were able to leave. When the applicants confronted Madeja, she promised they would be deployed soon.

In 2003 the applicants learned from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency that Total Care Staff Services was neither accredited nor licensed to recruit workers abroad. The discovery prompted the complainants to sue Madeja and two others, Mario Espino Sid and Agnes Rapirap.

Madeja and her supposed accomplices went into hiding, the CIDG said.

When she surfaced at the height of the nursing board exam controversy, the complainants sought the help of the Metro Manila CIDG, headed by Senior Supt. Asher Dolina, in serving the arrest warrant.

On Thursday Dolina sent a CIDG team to Madeja’s house at 6 Mahogany Street, Mahogany Homes in Bagumbayan, Taguig, and arrested her.

After the arrest, Majeda complained of difficulty in breathing and rising blood pressure. She was confined at the PNP General Hospital.

Dolina said that as soon as Madeja’s condition stabilizes, she will be presented before the court which issued the arrest warrant.

At a Senate inquiry on Thursday, Madeja denied she leaked the test questions.

On Friday Sen. Richard Gor­don called for the phaseout of all nursing review centers. Instead of the centers, Gordon said nursing schools should be the ones preparing their graduates for the licensure examination.

He said nursing students spend as much as P50,000 a semester for tuition and other expenses.

“What happens now is that the students are counting more on review centers to pass the exam,” Gordon said. “There’s a stink in this system because it produces more review centers that think only about their business, and to survive some of them seek leakage to produce topnotchers.”

He said about 42,000 examinees took the board exam last June, and review centers, led by R.A. Gapuz Review Center and the Inress Review Center, from which the leak allegedly came, earned as much as P630 million from reviewers.

Gordon said that nursing schools should offer at least a year of review for their graduates. “Like in law school, in my last six months in UP I reviewed practically. Then the UP Law Center also conducted a review.”

--With Ronnie E. Calumpita

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