Plea of former nursing board exec in exam leak case nixedBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Ombudsman prosecutors have contested a former nursing board official’s plea to be acquitted of the charge that she leaked nursing licensure test questions in 2006, and said they have presented enough evidence to secure her conviction.
In its memorandum filed before the Sandiganbayan, the Office of the Special Prosecutor said it had shown through documentary and testimonial evidence that former Board of Nursing member Anesia Dionisio had violated the anti-graft law and the Professional Regulation Commission act when she made available her test questions to unauthorized persons before the examinations.
Dionisio had formulated the test questions for the portion of the exam dealing with psychiatric nursing.
In her own memorandum filed earlier, Dionisio said the prosecution failed to present any evidence to show that she had leaked the test questions or had violated the law. She said it was clearly shown that there were other possible sources of the leaked test questions.
The submission of memoranda means that Dionisio’s case is ripe for decision.
The OSP, in its memorandum, said its witnesses had shown that Dionisio allowed Evelyn Asinas, a Philippine General Hospital employee, to encode her test manuscript for the licensure examinations.
It said this was a violation of PRC rules.
“Crystal clear, that when accused Dionisio allowed Asinas, a non-PRC employee, to encode her test questions outside of PRC premises, (it) violated her very own commitment and security declaration to preserve the security of all classified information,” it said.
It said there were provisions made in case a nursing official was computer illiterate, and one was to have a confidential staff member encode the test questions. The encoding process would also require the Professional Regulatory Board chair’s password and supervision, it added.
The board member was not allowed to leave his or her manuscript of the test questions with the encoders, it further said.
The OSP also cited the testimony of its witnesses, including PRC chair Leonor Rosero, which showed that the National Bureau of Investigation had first conducted an investigation into the alleged cheating in the licensure exams.
The Philippine Nurses Association had also acknowledged the existence of a leakage and had denounced the dishonesty in the 2006 licensure examinations, it said. The PRC likewise held its own inquiry into the matter, and recommended administrative charges against Dionisio.
The OSP also said that during a Board of Nursing meeting where Dionisio recounted her test questions construction and explained how test questions had leaked, she burst into tears and blamed herself for what happened. It said this incident was confirmed by two of its witnesses.