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CBCP head wants nursing exam cheats punished

CBCP head wants nursing exam cheats punished

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Last updated 03:43pm (Mla time) 10/20/2006

ILOILO CITY --- The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called for the punishment of those responsible for the alleged cheating in the June 2006 nursing board examinations.

"The leakage from its very inception, by whomsoever it was started, is a criminal offense against the country. The principal agents and their cooperators must be punished by the court," CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said.

Lagdameo made the call in a letter to the Association of New Nurses on Panay (Annopa) and the nurses' parents.

The group is opposing a retake of the licensure examination in all regions.

Lagdameo said that cheating and stealing are immoral and unjust.

"It creates a situation in which even the innocent suffer because they become suspect or are falsely accused and may even be meted out punishment while the real culprits escape. It is unfair to the honest," said the prelate in his letter, dated October 13.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed a criminal complaint against 17 officials of three nursing review centers allegedly involved in the leak of questions and answers pertaining to Test III and V of the licensure exams.

The respondents, officials of R.A. Gapuz Review Center, Inress Review Center and Pentagon Review Center, are accused of violating Republic Act 8981 which concerns the regulation of professions and the Professional Regulation Commission.

Lagdameo said those responsible for the leakage "carry a great burden in conscience for the scandal and criminal dishonesty they have committed against the institution."

The incident, he pointed out, has tarnished the reputation of the country's nurses abroad.

"Pity the country! Already poor economically, yet almost bankrupt morally, the innocent are counted among the cheaters and thieves. Jesus Christ is dying again!" said Lagdameo.

The prelate said that in light of the NBI findings that the leakage was confined to Metro Manila and Baguio City, he supports the idea that the retake of parts of the examination should be confined to examinees in these areas, specifically to "those who have cheated or been served by the leakage."

"It is unfair and unjust to subject innocent examinees and to lump them up with those who cheated," said Lagdameo.

The Court of Appeals on October 13 ruled that those who passed the board exam conducted outside Metro Manila and Baguio City and those who did not attend the "final coaching" sessions at the three review centers suspected of leaking test questions could take their oath as nurses.

But the oath-taking and issuing of licenses to the successful examinees was stopped by the Department of Labor and Employment because the court's decision was not yet final.

Nursing groups who believe that the leak occurred nationwide have appealed the ruling of the appellate court. The petitioners have asked the CA to reconsider its ruling and order a retaking of the exams nationwide.

Inquirer Visayas


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