PNA governor: No proof of leakage in nurses? exam in Mindanao

Palec, also the national corporate secretary of the PNA Board of Governors, told MindaNews Saturday that if somebody claims the nursing exams leakage was nationwide, he must prove it.Palec said there was no report of leakage in the Visayas and Mindanao and that the issues surfacing lately are suspect. He said an interest group, which he did not name, is trying to push for a nationwide retake. "It is very evident that the leakage was only in Baguio City and Metro Manila," he said.   

The Philippine Daily Inquirer cited Saturday information disclosed by Rene Luis Tadle, president of the Faculty Association of the College of Nursing of the University of Santo Tomas that the National Bureau of Investigation has five new witnesses who submitted an affidavit claiming that leakage in test questions were for four parts, not just two.

The report also quoted Tadle as having said that they might "actually call for a retake of all the tests" and that the retake should be for all examinees, including those from the Visayas and Mindanao. Tadle called on President Arroyo "to order a retake of the entire exam and by all 40,000 examinees.”

The newspaper also quoted Tadle as saying that "the cheating in the June 11 and 12 nursing exam was widespread and not confined to Luzon.”

But television news program Bandila aired over ABS-CBN news also quoted Tadle on Oct. 6 to have said that Arroyo would most likely decide to order a retake of examinees in Luzon only.

It was Tadle who filed for a temporary restraining against the oath-taking of the June 2006 board exam passers.

Palec said he received information that a certain Manila-based review center allegedly faxed copies of the leaked questions to its branch in Davao. "But we have been asking them to show us a copy of the alleged faxed copy and nothing was turned in," he said.

Palec said the copy was allegedly faxed four hours before the examinations.

"I doubt the examinees could still read all of that and use it to pass the examinations," he said.

"I urge anyone, those who have the copy or those who have information about the copy to turn it in so we could assess it," Palec said citing efforts of the PNA to investigate the allegation.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said on Oct. 6 that President Arroyo has ordered the NBI to submit its report of the controversial board exam on Oct. 9. He said Arroyo could issue an executive order on the retake by Oct. 11 without waiting for the Court of Appeals decision, if the report is submitted on time.

Palec invoked the independence of the branches of government and called on the executive branch not to influence the court's decision.  

The appellate court has to rule on petitions to nullify the oath taking of board passers, stop the issuance of licenses to those who have taken their oath, and order a retake of tests 3 and 5 of the exam.

Arroyo drew flak earlier this week when she blinked on the retake issue. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)