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Complaint filed vs 17 test review execs

Complaint filed vs 17 test review execs

But NBI lauds PRC for acting on leak

By Armand Nocum, Margaux Ortiz
Last updated 02:33am (Mla time) 10/13/2006

Published on Page A1 of the October 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation yesterday filed a complaint against 17 executives of three review centers suspected of involvement in the leak of test questions in the nursing licensure examination but it said the pattern indicated that cheating had been practiced in the annual exercise for years.

The NBI named Professional Regulation Commission Chair Leonor Tripon-Rosero as the official complainant in the case for violation of provisions of Republic Act No. 8981, or the PRC Modernization Act. The complaint filed with the Department of Justice did not include the examinees who had benefited from the leak.

Those indicted were Ricarte A. Gapuz, Evangeline Gapuz, Ma. Elena Altarejos, Elizabeth G. Iciano and Eleanor Artemia Cruz of the R.A. Gapuz Review Center; George C. Cordero, Adela C. Cordero, Jerry C. Cordero, Corazon C. Sabado, Macjohn C. Fabian, Lolita C. Barlahan and Eugenia A. Alcantara of the Inress Review Center, and Gerald Andamo, lawyer Glenn Luansing, Mike Jimenes, Jerome Balisnomo and Freddie Valdez of the Pentagon Review Specialist Inc.

Earlier in the day, Rosero said of the results of the NBI inquiry: “I’m glad these things came out, but I want them to name names.

“If there are nurses among the owners of [the involved] review centers, [the PRC] can file administrative charges against them.”

Instead of charging PRC officials, the NBI lauded them for the “recomputation” that included invalidating the leaked questions in Test III and reducing the weight of the scores in Test V.

The bureau said this was “a sensible solution to downgrade the effects of the leakages.”

“If the highest officers of the [three] review centers were too daring to pull a feat such as this for the sake of their respective review schools, it is not a far-fetched idea that their co-owners had consented to such ‘modus operandi’ not only in the recent [exam] but in previous ones as well,” said the complaint signed by NBI Director Nestor Mantaring.

“If this were not the case, it is a wonder then that they had managed to stay on top against their competitors, when practically the same services are being offered by the rest,” it said.


Under Republic Act 8981, “a person who manipulates or rigs licensure examination results, secretly informs, or makes known ... questions prior to the conduct of the examination or tampers with the grades ... shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six years and one day or up to 12 years and a fine of between P50,000 and P100,000 or both.”

If the offender is an officer or employee of the PRC or a member of the regulatory board, he/she shall be removed from office.

Accomplices may be slapped a penalty of imprisonment ranging from four to six years or a fine ranging from P20,000 to P49,000, or both.

A lesser penalty of imprisonment ranging from two to four years or a fine of from P5,000 to P19,000, or both, shall be imposed on the accessories.

Passers who cheated

“The allegations of leakage have tainted the integrity of the [exam], creating suspicion and doubts in its results,” the NBI said.

But it did not indict the examinees who had actively taken part in the cheating, saying that “to push for [their] prosecution” would be “not only difficult but [also] impractical.”

“This is apart from the fact that this bureau would not be willing to serve as an instrument in depriving the students of their professional advancement,” the NBI said.

It added: “They [had] not known the questions prior to the exam for they were in fact recipients of [the questions] through review materials which they still had to study and internalize. There is not much debate needed to show that the students are likewise not guilty of tampering [with the grades], for [this] is in fact not the issue in this case.”

Board of Nursing (BON) members Anesia Dionisio and Virginia Madeja and examiners of the five-part exam held on June 11 and 12 were earlier recommended to be charged for violation of RA 8981 as well as RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Documentary evidence

The NBI mostly based its findings on the testimonies of some 20 witnesses, including those who undertook their reviews at the three review centers, BON and PRC employees and persons responsible for the photocopying of the leaked questions.

The documentary evidence included Dionisio’s notes on the questions and the corresponding answers, photocopies of her notes, students’ notes taken during coaching sessions given by the review centers, and a compact disc of the PowerPoint presentation made by Inress during its “final coaching” on July 9.

During that Inress session, it was reportedly claimed that 100 of 500 review questions in the psychiatric nursing test would “surely come out” in the exam. A refund of the tuition of “whoever would top” the exam was also purportedly promised.

NBI Regional Director Elfren Meneses Jr. said the investigation conducted by the bureau’s Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division showed that the review centers conducted special “final briefing activities” for their clients, where the actual answers to Tests III and V were shown in a PowerPoint presentations.

Meneses said Gapuz held its final briefing in Baguio City, Inress at an SM Manila theater, and Pentagon at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City.

In conducting a comparative study of how the clients of the three review centers had fared in the exam, the NBI found that they obtained 90-97 percent scores in Tests III and V, compared to 80-90 percent for those who studied at other review centers.

An NBI analysis also found that “the ratings of Inress and Gapuz on Tests III and V show that they are relatively higher, in fact more than twice, compared to the passing percentages they obtained in the entirety of the exam.”

‘Leak in every sense’

According to the NBI, the evidence was “sufficient to establish” that the three review centers “have much to do with the proliferation of the leakage.”

It said it had “sounded off the possible criminal liability” of review center personnel who had facilitated the coaching sessions and distributed the leaked materials.

It also debunked claims that the leak consisted of “tips” that the review center executives claimed were “normal practice” to attract examinees to register.

“What actually transpired was a leakage in every sense of the word. Indeed, the review centers possessed and discussed questions with even the prescribed answers; clearly they must have too valuable material that originated from the persons who prepared the exam,” the NBI said.

On Wednesday, the NBI announced that the cheating was limited only to the cities of Metro Manila and Baguio in Luzon and covered only Tests III and V.

It said it had found no evidence to support claims that the leak had also occurred in the Visayas and Mindanao and included Tests I and II.

I attended a review session in one of the 3 review centers mentioned by NBI...

In the final coaching session we were given 'possible' questions that would appear in the NLE... 1000 items!... for heaven sake, it was a Saturday... Sunday was start of NLE... Do you suppose I would give time cramming to memorize those??? I was not even sure if they're 'reliable'... It wld be utter waste of my time & energy... In my mind, having taken & passed 2 national exams in the past... the questions wld probably be 'basic' in nature & foundation... I had 4 yrs in psych & 3 yrs nursing degree to back me up... & my natural passion for health & sciences... plus I was confident of my basic ana&physio, being thought by a medical director of mla hosp... I was apprehensive at first... but it's too late to be worried one day before NLE... I hd to psyche up myself... I was all set & prepared... I slept through it... I have to be in the testing site by 6am... I needed that energy & sleep to get me through 500 items in 1 & 1/2 days....and True enough!

Any board passers wld hv passed Test V with his/her eyes half closed! ( no need of a leakage!)

But Test 3 was incredibly difficult!!! & so was Test 4!!!

A LOT OF MY FRIENDS FAILED because Test 5 was now excluded in the computation... DAMN THE REVIEW CENTER/S FOR THOSE LEAKAGES!...


The alleged "LEAKAGE" was an insult to our preparation for the NLE for the nth time!!!


I agree. Test 5 was very easy. Inis nga ako eh when 90 questions were invalidated. That could have pushed up my average grade more. Nevertheless, I passed. It just shows that neither possession of a leakage nor being a cum laude is enough guarantee to pass the board exams.

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