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In relation to: Sec. 13, Art.

II, 1987 Constitution

The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical,
moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and
encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Sec. 1, Art. XIV, 1987 Constitution

The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take
appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.

Sec. 5 (3), Art. XIV, 1987 Constitution

Every citizen has a right to select a profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable, and
equitableadmission and academic requirements.

Date: December 21, 1989


capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Metro Manila

Facts: Private respondent, Roberto Rey San Diego, is a graduate of UE with a degree of BS
Zoology. He flunked the NMAT (National Medical Admission Test) thrice. When he applied
to take again, petitioner rejected his application on the basis of MECS Order No. 12 stating
that: “A student shall be allowed only three (3) chances to take the NMAT. After three (3)
successive failures, a student shall not be allowed to take the NMAT for the fourth time”.

Private respondent then filed a petition before the RTC of Valenzuelachallenging the
constitutionality of the said order and invoking his constitutional rights to academic freedom
and quality education. The respondent judge, TeresitaDizon-Capulong, ruled in his favor,
declaring the aforementioned order invalid and that he was deprived of his right to pursue a
medical education.

The petitioner, DECS, prays for the reversal of the decision of the respondent court.

Issue: Whether or not the MECS Order No. 12 or the “three-flunk rule” is valid and constitutional.

Ruling: Yes. MECS Order No. 12 or the “three-flunk rule” is valid and constitutional. It is the right
and responsibility of the State to insure that the medical profession is not infiltrated by
incompetents to whom patients may unwarily entrust their lives and health. The three-flunk
rule is intended to insulate the medical schools and ultimately the medical profession from
the intrusion of those not qualified to be doctors. While every person is entitled to aspire to
be a doctor, he does not have a constitutional right to be a doctor.

The right to quality education (Sec. 1, Art. XIV) invoked by the private respondent is not
absolute. The Constitution also provides that "every citizen has the right to choose a
profession or course of study, subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission and
academic requirements” (Sec. 5(3), Art. XIV).

It is not enough to simply invoke the right to quality education as a guarantee of the
Constitution. One must show that he is entitled to it because of his preparation and
promise. The private respondent has failed the NMAT five times. While his persistence is
noteworthy, to say the least, it is certainly misplaced, like a hopeless love.

The Court said, that it is time for the State to take decisive steps to regulate and enrich our
system of education by directing thestudent to the course for which he is best suited as
determined by initial tests and evaluations. Otherwise, we may be "swamped with
mediocrity," not because we are lacking in intelligence, but because we are a nation of

Petition of DECS was GRANTED and the RTC ruling was REVERSED.