• Ex-PRC official gets 6 years over nursing exam leakage

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    A former member of the Nursing board of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) is facing six years behind bars after the Sandiganbayan found that she hired a typist to replicate the nursing exam questions despite being unauthorized to do so.

    Despite the conviction, the real culprit as to who leaked the exam questions to the review centers was not identified in the 70-page decision of the anti-graft court.

    PRC landed in trouble in 2007 after reports that Test 3 (Medical Surgical Nursing) and Test 5 (Psychiatric Nursing) of the June 2006 NLE was reportedly leaked to students from RA Gapuz Review Center in Baguio City and Institute for Review and Special Studies in Manila.

    The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division sentenced Anesia Dionisio, former member of the Board of Nursing, to a six-year jail term after the court ruled that her hiring of Evelyn Asinas to type the was illegal, enough for her to land in jail.

    Dionisio faced violation of the PRC Modernization Act of 2000 and Section 3(k) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. She was only convicted with the latter charge.

    Section 3(k) of the anti-graft law prevents a public official from divulging valuable information of a confidential character he acquires by his office before its authorized release date.

    During the trial, Mila Llanes, former associate dean of the College of Nursing of the University of Santo Tomas, told prosecutors about the presence of a “blue spiral test questionnaire” which contained 495 questions that appeared similar to the questions Dionisio asked Asinas to type.

    However, the “blue spiral test questionnaire” was never presented before the court, resulting in Dionisio’s acquittal in the first criminal lawsuit.

    Llanes said that she got hold of the blue spiral questionnaire after a student showed her a copy of the leaked questions. The document was used during the fact-finding and investigation of the PRC, but it was not presented before the court.

    “Without this spiral test questions manuscript being produced in evidence, and without even any explanation from the prosecution as to why it was not submitted in evidence, the guilt of the accused for offense charged cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt,” the ruling read.

    Because of this, Dionisio was acquitted with her first case. Still, the court did not let pass the fact that Dionisio tapped Asinas to type for her the test questions.

    John Constantine G. Cordon

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