Jail eyed for PRC official in exam leakage

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LEGAL opposition mounts against a former Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) official who took her final bid to sway the Sandiganbayan in reversing her graft conviction over the 2007 Nursing board leakage.

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The Office of the Ombudsman reiterated before anti-graft magistrates that the guilty verdict of Anesia Dionisio should stand because she clearly “revealed” the test questions to an unauthorized typist without the approval of the PRC.

In November 2013, the Sandiganbayan sentenced Dionisio to a six-year jail term after evidence showed that she hired Evelyn Asinas, her former employee, to encode for her the nursing exam questions.

In spite of this conviction, the real culprit as to who leaked the exam questions evades in the 70-page decision of the anti-graft court.

Replying to Dionisio’s motion for reconsideration, fiscals said that when Dionisio asked Asinas to do typing job, Dionisio, “in effect, disclosed, revealed or divulged” to Asinas the test questions for the 2006 nursing board exam.

Prosecutors said that the defense misconstrued the decision of the Sandiganbayan on the supposed “tacit” approval of PRC and the Board of Nursing (BON) in allowing Dionisio to seek help in typing the questions as she is not computer literate.

According to the decision, Dionisio may have been allowed to ask any person she trusted to type the questions, but those must be encoded subsequently to the PRC’s databank.

The prosecution reminded the Sandiganbayan that it was incumbent upon all board examiners like Dionisio to acquire a “written consent” before the PRC commissioner before questions could be typed by anyone except the examiner.

“It is very significant to note that there was no evidence presented to show, or even a feeble claim made on the part of the accused,” the pleading read.

Prosecutors stressed that Asinas was “not authorized” to type the questions despite Dionisio’s order.

They also sought the invalidity of Dionisio’s claim that before Asinas, the nursing examiner, “with the knowledge and imprimatur of PRC,” had her foster son typed for her the questions in 1991, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

“[This] could not be appreciated in this instance for being without basis. Accused, during the trial, had not presented any evidence, oral or written to back-up said claim,” prosecutors said.

Even if assuming that the BON always knew that Dionisio always asked someone to do typing job for her, prosecutors underscored that “it is not the BON but it is the PRC chairman who is the proper authority in allowing exceptions to the general prohibitions.”

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, which he acquires by his office before its authorized release date.

Back in 2007, the PRC drew flak and protest after reports showed that Test 3 (Medical Surgical Nursing) and Test 5 (Psychiatric Nursing) of the June 2006 NLE was reportedly leaked to board examinees.

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