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Hidalgo and Rosero in Arroyo’s eyes

Hidalgo and Rosero in Arroyo’s eyes


Published on page A12 of the October 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

I BELIEVE that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Chair Leonor Tripon-Rosero are acting out a poorly written script.

Look: Arroyo orders a retake of the leaked portions of the June 2006 nursing board exam. Immediately, Rosero, her personal dentist, announces to the nation that she would listen to no one but the court. The always combative Ms Arroyo lets the comment pass. She does not castigate her alter ego under the PRC Modernization Law. Is this a dream? Where is the Arroyo who publicly berated Acting Education Secretary Fe Hidalgo for claiming that our public school system is suffering from acute lack of classrooms?

A has been soft on the PRC head since day one. The leakage issue was a manageable one, but Rosero’s mishandling caused it to metamorphose into a scandal of international magnitude. It embarrassed the nation. It caused the examinees and their families untold anguish and sufferings. There is no doubt that Rosero’s head must roll. It should have rolled a long time ago.

But then again, one should not wonder why Hidalgo and Rosero were not similarly treated by Arroyo. Hidalgo was on the side of truth, Rosero has chosen to take the opposite side.

Because of government indecisiveness on the leakage controversy, we are still on a stalemate. The real victims here, aside from the nursing profession, are the innocent examinees. Whether it is retake or no-retake, a “win-win” solution is beyond their reach. It is unjust to require them to retake an examination where they did not cheat. It is also unjust to not hold a retake because that is the only way to remove the stigma caused by PRC’s incompetence.

The victims will retake the exam. Some will do it gladly and will be thankful for the decision. More will do it grudgingly and may even blame the Cordillera-based whistle-blowers who are actually the unsung heroes—though not everyone realizes this yet. These victims cry for what approximates justice -- the guilty must be punished -- and punished soon. The PRC officials who aggravated their troubles should go -- and go fast!

CHERYL L. DAYTEC-YAÑGOT, legal counsel for the “Baguio Braves” who exposed the leakage, St. Louis University, Baguio City (via e-mail)



Please be reminded that you did not answer the points raised in the article posted herein (“On 42,000-Examinee Exam Retake….”). Instead, you shifted the topic to your personal circumstances....

Systems experts guard against solving a problem by creating another problem. In your case, it is worse. You want to solve a problem--cheating in nursing exam--by creating INJUSTICE through having innocent passers retake the exam.

We do not begrudge the Baguio Braves exposing the cheating, in having the guilty punished, with capital punishment if you want. We couldn’t care less if you do it by firing squad if they are really guilty of an ignoble crime. But we do care about innocent passers whom you want to punish as well through retake for shallow and illogical reasons.

If I may say so, what is not right in what you are doing is that you are demanding a wrong and overdosed solution to the problem instead of pushing for the crucial solutions alone.

What is needed is to punish the guilty and reform the exam system. You are not satisfied with that, you want retake--worse, not only of Test 5 but also of Test 3. You are a lawyer, you belong to the profession where if you find one saying yes, you can always find another one saying no. If you really wanted to exclude Test 3 from retake, you know you can find strong justifications for it, not the least of which is the PRECEDENT in the 2003 bar exam scandal where an entire subject was excluded without invalidating the exam and without retake! Yet, while you profess a bleeding heart for the innocent passers, you want to crucify them by doubling their problem--reviewing and passing two subjects instead of just one, Test 5.

While punishing the guilty and reforming the exam system are non-negotiable solutions, having passers retake the exam is not even a needed solution.
First, you said the 2003 bar-scandal handling is not applicable because the Supreme Court (SC) acted expeditiously on it while PRC did not. This is not a fact. The bar scandal took place in September 2003, the SC finally resolved it in February 2004 despite the absence of petitioners against no-retake. The SC did a recomputation of grades on October 7, 2003. Nobody petitioned against it. Then, it was only a week after such recomputation was done that it ordered an investigation of the scandal--the source of leakage, the persons responsible, etc.--or on October 14, 2003 to be exact, almost one month after the Supreme Court learned about the leakage!!! The investigation report was submitted to the SC on January 15, 2004.

If the bar scandal was resolved more expeditiously, it was because there were no petitioners for retake. On the contrary, petitions submitted were against retake, which made SC relent and decided against retake. In the case of PRC, it did a similar recomputation of grades but, unlike in the bar exam scandal, it was deluged by objections by many complainants, including your group.

You cited as reason PRC’s delayed action on the leakage as ground for concluding that the 2003 bar exam scandal cannot be cited as PRECEDENT. How did that happen? Even assuming that you are right--which is not exactly correct as just explained--why should the acts of PRC deprive the innocent passers of their right to invoke SC’s handling of the 2003 bar exam scandal as PRECEDENT? Looks like that is a new principle in law!

Moreover, what ACTUAL harm did PRC’s delay produce to which the logical solution is retake? Bad image of the passers? But that happened because of what Dante Ang and the petitioners said against them! Had they said otherwise, it would have been different. The government could not be pinned down for human rights violations involving hundreds of KILLINGS and disappearances. It depended itself before the international community. The case of the 17,000 passers is much easier to defend--but it was not defended! All that has to be said is that “they passed fair and square some 390 remaining valid questions, exclusive of purged leaked questions, and that number is much more than the first 60 graded questions in NCLEX that if passed automatically makes the examinee a PASSER, without the need to go to the last 265th question.” Then to this should be added the challenge to foreign recruiters and hospitals: “Why don’t you try them, just follow your usual testing procedure and you will find that they will qualify.” But no, Filipinos themselves are the ones downgrading the 2006 passers, and if Filipinos themselves are the ones saying it, foreigners will of course believe because they assume that Filipinos know more about themselves than them foreigners!

What’s more, the passing of examinees should depend on what they did, not on what others think about them, which is subjective. It is not a conclusive fact, as can be proven later by potential successful examinees in NCLEX who do not have to prove that they are competent passers of the 2006 PRC exam because passing PRC exam is not even a requirement for NCLEX--and yet they can work abroad for as long as they pass NCLEX and related requirements!

Perhaps, PRC Commissioners bungled the aspect of taking prompt actions against the suspected BON examiners. They should be taken to task or even charged for that, but why did you not protect the passers from them? Right at the start, your stand was for retake--even when it was still not too late for PRC to promptly act against the examiners and others involved. Why did you not recommend ways that will avoid retake, considering that it is quite prejudicial to innocent passers. In the 2003 bar exams, without prior PRECEDENT, passers thought retake was not right, so they fought for it and won. In the 2006 nursing scandal, there is already an existing PRECEDENT, so you should have been solicitous about the passers rights, but no, right at the start, even when it was not yet too late for PRC to correct itself, your position was retake.

If the ground for retake is to show competence, it does not apply to Test 3 with 80 remaining valid questions out of 100, especially in the light of the 2003 bar exam PRECEDENT and the very much lesser number of questions that if successfully answered makes the examinee a passer--the first 60 graded questions for all subjects in NCLEX. On the other hand, if the reason is to erase their stigma, especially before the international community, two subjects need not be retaken just for that PAKITANG-TAO purposes. Retake just of one subject, Test 5, should be enough. But in your case, you did not show any signs that you wanted to do that--lighten the problem and burden of innocent passers by excluding Test 3 from retake.

As explained in other comments in this Pinoy BSN, there is a hell of a difference to innocent passers between asking them to retake Tests 3 and 5 and Test 5 only. But it seems that does not matter to you. You also did not even consider that asking for retake of Test 3 can be downright WRONG and ILLEGAL in case there are examinees who got 75 correct answers out of the remaining 80 valid questions because that still meets the required 75% passing grade out of the original 100 questions for Test 3. You would not exclude Test 3 from the retake even if doing so would make things doubly hard for those who will retake because in that case they will have to review for two subjects, plus the fact that if they become unlucky, like the honor graduates of UST, and they fail the two subjects, they will become flunkers who will have to repeat the entire exam of 5 subjects. Whereas if there is only one subject to be retaken, only Test 5, then even if they fail, they can be CONDITIONED, which will require retake of only Test 5 again. Yeah, your heart bleeds for the innocent passers but you will not grant them the consolation of less severe punishment by way of retaking Test 5 alone. You care for them in words but your actions have shown the opposite, meaning, you may not be the person you think you are? And that seems on record, in the petition you submitted to the Court, which will remain there for posterity.

Posted by Anonymous | 10:30 PM

Asus! nagmagaling na naman itong si KUYANGOT! Kahit na anong sabihin mo mas matino sayo si Ma'am Rosero... Naturingan lawyer ka, e puros kayabangan lang ang alam mong sabihin... sa totoo lang puros satsat ka lang... wala kang 'value' sa buhay naming mga nurse... sa totoo lang! :P

Atty Yangot - another 'brain damage' in the making...& soon to be another 'liability' to Phil gov't... just like the breeds of Miriam Defensor Santiago, Juan Ponce Enrile, other good for nothing politicians & cabinet members... & special mention... Dean Tuazon of UP... (only Ms. Yangot is a little younger & ugly :P)... so bright but empty inside...

Lord, spare us/our country from people like them...

Ako, gandang ganda ako kay Atty Yangot lalo pag magkatabi sila ni Grace Pacleb. Itanong mo pa si Jomags.

Wala ka ring value sa buhay niya. Di mo ba narinig yung hesitation niya nung tinanong siya ni Dong Puno kung magpapalit siya ng nurse kung ang ibigay sa kanya ay batch 2006? Pero, pag magretake ka, baka magpapaalaga siya sa iyo.

Ikaw ang bobo, commenter no. 3. English mo pa lang, alanganin na. Sa totoo lang, kaya ka galit kina Tadle at Yangot dahil magagaling sila at kaya nilang panindigan sinasabi nila. In short, they are a threat to you. Mag-review ka na for the retake. Kung nakapasa ka man the first time na walang review dahil umasa ka sa leakage, di na puede yun ngayon. Mag-review ka na. Umasa a lang sa leakage kaya sinuerte ka.

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