By Leila Salaverria, Tetch Torres
Last updated 04:27am (Mla time) 08/24/2007
MANILA, Philippines -- As nurses hoping to get jobs in the United States began taking the qualifying tests first to be held here, the Department of Justice on Thursday recommended the filing of criminal charges against four officials of the R.A. Gapuz and Inress review centers for allegedly leaking questions in the June 2006 licensure exams.
Fourteen others accused were absolved from liability, but DoJ Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño also said the dismissal of the case against five people from the Royal Pentagon Review Specialist Inc. for lack of evidence, was without prejudice to its refiling.
Facing possible charges of manipulation and other corrupt practices in the conduct of professional examinations in violation of the Professional Regulation Modernization Act are director and reviewer Ricarte Gapuz, stockholder and reviewer Elena Gapuz-Altarejos and drill master Jonna Bucud of the R.A. Gapuz Review Center and former Philippine Nurses Association president and Inress Review Center president George Cordero.
The offense is punishable with six to 12 years’ imprisonment or a fine of P50,000 to P100,000, or both.
The complaint was brought by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Professional Regulation Commission.
In a resolution released Thursday, the DoJ said the evidence indicated that the June 2006 nursing licensure examinations were “marred by a systematic leakage of examination questions” that had come from Board of Nursing members and given to suspected review centers and examinees.
It cited the statements of witnesses who narrated how the leaked questions were provided to nurses reviewing at R.A. Gapuz and Inress.
In the case of R.A. Gapuz, two nurses said that two days before the exam, review materials for Test V were distributed in the review center in Baguio City. They later learned that the materials contained actual test questions.
Nurses reviewing at Inress attended a final coaching session at SM Manila where a Powerpoint presentation of various questions and their answers were given, particularly those involving Tests III and V of the exam. The questions were the ones asked at the actual test.
The review center officials denied the allegations.
The DoJ branded as self-serving the defense of the Gapuz Review Center, denying they knew the materials they distributed to examinees were the actual questions used in the board exam.
Read more at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=84426
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