Press Release
October 2, 2006


By pushing for a retake of the June 2006 nursing board examinations despite petitions on the matter still pending before the Court of Appeals, Malacañang is showing again it is putting itself above the judiciary,

Sen. Panfilo Lacson raised this issue Monday even as many residents of Bohol province, whose relatives took last Junes board examinations, questioned what they believe to be a double standard in the retake.

The Court of Appeals has not issued any decision on the matter, yet Malacañang already made a decision. Why is it preempting the judiciary? Does it feel it is above a co-equal branch of government? Lacson said.

He said that at the very least, Malacañang should have been more discerning and deferential to the court, instead of making such an announcement that many feel was too sudden.

Lacson, who spoke before a youth convention in Bohol Sunday, also said many residents approached him and complained that retaking the examination will mean not only added expenses in going back to Manila, but also a presumption of guilt.

There should be a presumption of innocence. Yet, those who passed the examinations feel they are being treated as if they were guilty. Many of them were even saying, what about Mrs. Arroyo? Should there not be a retake of the 2004 elections? he said.

On the other hand, he said many Boholanos are dismayed over the prospect of having to retake the examinations even if the government were to spend P52 million for it. They are crying foul because even if they did not cheat, they will be made to spend anew for the ship fare to Manila, the review, and board and lodging and other expenses, he said.

At the youth convention in Bohol, Lacson urged the countrys future leaders to develop and cherish principles and moral courage, and do what is right as part of positive activism.

Some rules have to be permanent and we call them principles. Without principles, perks and privileges soon enough become the devils sanctuary ... Our first preference then perhaps our first loyalty should be to our principles and to all the people to whom we are responsible. Without this preferential loyalty we all become useless, he said.

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