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Nurse passers hold rally to protest planned retake

Nurse passers hold rally to protest planned retake

By Carla Gomez, Jhunnex Napallacan
Last updated 06:21pm (Mla time) 10/10/2006

BACOLOD CITY -- The proposed retake of the June nursing licensure examination continue to draw opposition here in the Visayas.

About 1,000 passers of the June Nursing Licensure Examination, their parents, teachers and officials of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City gathered at Capitol Lagoon Park Tuesday, dressed in black, to appeal to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo not to order a retake of the test, which they said they passed fair and square.

Both the provincial and city governments expressed support for the Negrense nurses while the provincial and city councils each passed a resolution asking President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to desist from issuing the retake order.

Retired school teacher Monina EdaƱo lamented the fact that many of the parents like her had gotten into debt to send their children through nursing school and take the board only for their children to be unjustly treated for a leak they had nothing to do with.

Earlier Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra also wrote to the President to appeal to her not to order a retake.

Bacolod Representative Monico Puentevella in a telephone interview denounced the persons who alleged that there was widespread leakage in the June nursing licensure examination, which he called "unsubstantiated claims" at the expense of 17,000 new nurses who passed the exam.

These innuendo peddlers should not be taken seriously because they are subjecting the fate of 17,000 passers to a trial by publicity, Puentebella said.

In Cebu City, the protesters asked those who claimed that the leaks reached other parts of the country to "show evidence or shut up."

Chulou Penales, a graduate of the South Western University who ranked 10th in the nursing board exam, headed the estimated 300 board passers and parents who shouted against the retake at the Fuente Osmena circle Tuesday morning.

Penales is the leader of the group Tanan or Tapoktapok sa Nagkahiusang Nurses Batok sa Retake, which sent a manifesto to the President against the retake.

Penales said they were sure that there was no leakage in Cebu and in the Visayas during the examination.

"That is why we are fighting very courageously because we knew that there was no leakage in Cebu. These people are just trying to poison the minds of the people," Penales said.

The group also asked Labor Secretary Arturo Brion to inhibit himself from handling the issue.

"It's not okay; we know for a fact that Brion is already biased in favor of the retake. If possible, he should inhibit himself," Penales said, adding that the matter should be left to the Court of Appeals.

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