PRC examiner found guilty of leaking nursing test questions
MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan convicted an examiner of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for leaking the questions of the 2006 nursing exams.
Virgina Diolola-Madeja, a member of the PRC Board of Nursing, was sentenced to six years in jail for violation of the PRC Modernization Act and the antigraft law.
The court affirmed the conclusion of a PRC fact-finding committee that there was leakage, saying that copies of the test questions handled by Madeja were distributed to reviewees of Gapuz Review Center and Institute for Review and Special Studies (Inress) before the exam on June 11 and 12, 2006.
The committee investigation stemmed from a complaint filed against Ray Gapuz, who owns the Gapuz Review Center.
The committee found that during the exams, some examinees wearing jackets and shirts bearing the title “Gapuz Review Center” finished taking the test for only half an hour.
Evidence showed that Madeja was affiliated with Inress, which also purportedly administered the leaked notes.
Donabel Atienza, a former PRC administrative officer, had testified that Madeja was nominated as member to the board by the Philippine Nurses Association, then headed by George Cordero, who also owns Inress and the Philippine College of Health and Sciences (PCHS).
In her curriculum vitae, Madeja said she was affiliated with Inress.
Another witness, Pamela Ortega, told the fact-finding committee that Cordero had invited PCHS graduates and Inress reviewees in an “enhancement review class” on June 9, 2006, and handed out stapled test questions saying these would surely come out in the board exams.
True enough, on June 12, the very same questions came out in the boards, Ortega said. The witness even quoted Cordero as saying during the meeting that he “did not pay P7 million for nothing.”
Madeja had argued that the leaked documents did not come from her. She said the leakage could have happened when she photocopied her test question manuscripts at the Alva Computer and Photocopying Services on Morayta Street on June 7, 2006, or when she left her bag at the library.
But the court affirmed that the leakage directly came from Madeja, who has the sole knowledge on the manuscript.
Licensure Office Director Amelia Empaynado had testified in court that 56 of the 68 situations in the leaked exam were similar to the test manuscript prepared by Madeja.
Also, there were only 15 situations in the 17 pages supposedly photocopied which were covered in the leakage notes, the court said
The court said Madeja’s defense that she left the manuscripts in her bag has no merit because she did not even report the incident. The said manuscript was also returned to the commission afterward.
“The pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution lead to no other conclusion than the accused leaked or divulged her prepared test questions to unauthorized persons prior to the June 11 and 12 (licensure exams),” according to the decision of the Special Fifth Division composed of Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justices Roland Jurado and Alex Gesmundo.
“Her act of divulging her test questions prior to the said dates unquestionably caused damage not only to the licensure examinations for nurses but also for all professional licensure examinations,” it added.
Madeja was sentenced to six years and one month to seven years in jail, a penalty of P100,000, and perpetual disqualification from public office. Her bail bond for provisional liberty was also canceled.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.