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DNA Evidence

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs RUFINO UMANITO, G.R. No. 172607, October 26, 2007
FACTS: In the evening of July 15, 1989, while on her way to her grandmothers house, private complainant AAA
was held at knife point by Umanito and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. As a result, AAA got
pregnant.
RTC found Umanito guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape. On appeal, CA affirmed the RTCs
finding, holding that the discrepancies in AAAs testimony was too trivial and inconsequential to affect its
credibility.
ISSUE: Whether the prosecution has successfully met the level of proof needed to find appellant guilty of the crime
of rape.
HELD AND RATIO: No pronouncement was made as to the issue presented as the Court ordered the case to be
remanded to the lower court for the reception of DNA Evidence to determine if appellant is the father of AAAs
child.
We have pronounced that if it can be conclusively determined that the accused did not sire the alleged victims child,
this may cast the shadow of reasonable doubt and allow his acquittal on this basis. If he is found not to be the father,
the finding will at least weigh heavily in the ultimate decision in this case.
For purposes of criminal investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory
evidence. Under Section 4 of the Rules on DNA Evidence, the courts are authorized, after due hearing and
notice, motu proprio to order a DNA testing. Should the RTC find the DNA testing feasible in the case at bar, it shall
order the same, in conformity with Section 5 of the Rules. It is also the RTC which shall determine the institution to
undertake the DNA testing and the parties are free to manifest their comments on the choice of DNA testing center.
After the DNA analysis is obtained, it shall be incumbent upon the parties who wish to avail of the same to offer the
results in accordance with the rules of evidence. The RTC, in evaluating the DNA results upon presentation, shall
assess the same as evidence in keeping with Sections 7 and 8 of the Rules. The trial court is further enjoined to
observe the requirements of confidentiality and preservation of the DNA evidence in accordance with Sections 11
and 12 of the Rules.
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, the RTC shall consider, among other things, the following data:
how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of the samples, the
procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in
conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests.
Moreover, the court a quo must ensure that the proper chain of custody in the handling of the samples submitted by
the parties is adequately borne in the records, i.e.: that the samples are collected by a neutral third party; that the
tested parties are appropriately identified at their sample collection appointments; that the samples are protected with
tamper tape at the collection site; that all persons in possession thereof at each stage of testing thoroughly inspected
the samples for tampering and explained his role in the custody of the samples and the acts he performed in relation
thereto.
Case remanded to RTC for reception of DNA Evidence.

DNA Evidence
ROSENDO HERRERA vs. ROSENDO ALBA, minor, represented by his mother ARMI A. ALBA, et. al [G.R.
No. 148220. June 15, 2005]
FACTS: Then 13 year old Rosendo Alba (respondent), represented by his mother filed before the trial court a
petition for compulsory recognition, support and damages against petitioner. On the other hand, Petitioner denied
that he is the biological father of respondent and denied physical contact with respondents mother.
Respondent filed a motion to direct the taking of DNA paternity testing to abbreviate the proceedings. To support the
motion, respondent presented the testimony of expert witness Saturnina C. Halos, Ph.D.
Petitioner opposed DNA paternity testing and contended that it has not gained acceptability. Petitioner further argued
that DNA paternity testing violates his right against self-incrimination.
The trial court granted respondents motion to conduct DNA paternity testing on petitioner, respondent and Armi
Alba. Petitioners MFR was denied. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC and stated that the proposed DNA
paternity testing does not violate his right against self-incrimination because the right applies only to testimonial
compulsion. Finally, the appellate court pointed out that petitioner can still refute a possible adverse result of the
DNA paternity testing. Petitioners MFR was denied, hence this petition.
ISSUE: Whether a DNA test is a valid probative tool in this jurisdiction to determine filiation.
HELD AND RATIO: YES. In Tijing vs CA a 2001 case, the Court observed that facilities and expertise are
available for DNA testing for identification and parentage testing. The University of the Philippines Natural
Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA
typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis.
The 2002 case of People v. Vallejo discussed DNA analysis as evidence where the DNA profile from the vaginal
swabs taken from the rape victim matched the accuseds DNA profile. We affirmed the accuseds conviction of rape
with homicide and sentenced him to death. We declared:
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, therefore, courts should consider, among other things, the
following data: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of
the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and procedures
were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests.
Vallejo discussed the probative value, not admissibility, of DNA evidence. By 2002, there was no longer any
question on the validity of the use of DNA analysis as evidence. The Court moved from the issue of according
official recognition to DNA analysis as evidence to the issue of observance of procedures in conducting DNA
analysis.
As to DNA analysis used in paternity cases, it is not enough to state that the childs DNA profile matches that of the
putative father. A complete match between the DNA profile of the child and the DNA profile of the putative father
does not necessarily establish paternity. For this reason, following the highest standard adopted in an American
jurisdiction, trial courts should require at least 99.9% as a minimum value of the Probability of Paternity (W) prior
to a paternity inclusion. W is a numerical estimate for the likelihood of paternity of a putative father compared to the
probability of a random match of two unrelated individuals. An appropriate reference population database, such as
the Philippine population database, is required to compute for W. Due to the probabilistic nature of paternity
inclusions, W will never equal to 100%. However, the accuracy of W estimates is higher when the putative father,
mother and child are subjected to DNA analysis compared to those conducted between the putative father and child
alone.

DNA analysis that excludes the putative father from paternity should be conclusive proof of non-paternity. If the
value of W is less than 99.9%, the results of the DNA analysis should be considered as corroborative evidence. If the
value of W is 99.9% or higher, then there is refutable presumption of paternity. This refutable presumption of
paternity should be subjected to the Vallejo standards. Petition DISMISSED. Orders of RTC and CA affirmed.
Best Evidence Rule
JOHNSON LEE vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and NEUGENE MARKETING, INC. [G.R. No.
159288. October 19, 2004]
FACTS: NEUGENE Marketing, Inc. (NMI), in several occasions in the year 1987, sold and delivered to the
Victorias Milling Company, Inc. (VMCI):
-

77,500 pieces of empty white bags for P565,750.00- Charge Invoice No. 0809
100,000 pieces of empty white bags for P730,000.00- Charge Invoice No. 0810
28,000 pieces of empty white bags for P204,400.00-Charge Invoice No. 0811

In payment of said purchases from NMI, VMCI drew and issued two BPI Checks: Check No. 068706 dated August
3, 1987 in the amount of P565,750.00 and Check No. 068993 dated August 19, 1987 in the amount
of P934,400.00. Both checks were payable to the order of NMI.
Sometime in October 1987, NMI was dissolved. The trustee of the corporation wrote petitioner Lee (a stockholder
of NMI) requesting him to turn over to it the P1,500,150.00 he received in payment of the empty bags sold by NMI
to VCMI. However, he failed to do so.
Subsequently, a verified complaint for three (3) counts of estafa was filed against the petitioner and Sonny Moreno
(another stockholder of NMI) with the City Prosecutors Office. Appended to the complaint were photocopies of
Charge Invoice Nos. 0809, 0810, and 0811, issued by NMI to VMCI.
During the trial, the original copies of Charge Invoice Nos. 0809, 0810 and 0811, and of BPI Check Nos. 068766
and 068993 were not in the custody of the prosecution.
To prove the loss, destruction or non-availability of the original copies of the charge invoices and checks, as well as
the authenticity and due execution thereof, the prosecution presented several witnesses who testified that the checks
existed. The accused objected to the admission of the photocopies of the checks and charge invoices on the ground
that the best evidence were the original copies thereof.
Trial court, however, ruled that the prosecution had adduced preponderant evidence that the original copies of the
said charges and checks were lost, destroyed or non-available.
On appeal, the CA affirmed RTC and ruled that the charge invoices and the checks were not the best evidence to
prove receipt by the accused of the amounts allegedly misappropriated; hence, the best evidence rule does not apply.
It also held that even if the contents of the checks were the subject of inquiry, based on the proofs adduced by the
prosecution, such checks are admissible in evidence. The Court of Appeals declared that, in any event, the
prosecution proved the loss or destruction or non-availability of the checks and charge invoices.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court committed a grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of
jurisdiction in admitting in evidence the photocopies of the checks and charge invoices in lieu of the original copies
thereof.
HELD AND RATIO: Rule 130, Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court reads: Original document must be
produced; exceptions. When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible
other than the original document itself, except in the following cases:

(a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court without bad faith on the part of the
offeror;
(b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and
the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;
(c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without
great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole;
(d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office.
The proponent is also burdened to prove the due execution or existence of the original as provided in Rule 130,
Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Court:
When the original document is unavailable. When the original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be
produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the cause of its unavailability without bad
faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by
the testimony of witnesses in the order stated.
Rule 132, Section 20 of the Revised Rules of Court provides the procedure on how the authenticity and due
execution of a private document which is offered as authentic may be proved:
Proof of private document. Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due
execution and authenticity must be proved either:
(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or
(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.
Any other private document need only be identified as that which it is claimed to be.
In this case, there is no dispute that the original copies of the checks were returned to VMCI after the same were
negotiated and honored by the drawee bank. The originals of the charge invoices were kept by VMCI. There is also
no dispute that the prosecution offered the photocopies of the invoices in evidence to prove the contents thereof.
The records show that, in obedience to the subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum issued by the trial court
directing the VMCI to produce the originals of the checks and the charge invoices, Bayaban, the Manager for
Corporate Affairs of VMCI, testified that all its records, including the charge invoices and checks, were destroyed
seven years ago in a flash flood which occurred on November 28, 1995, and that such loss/destruction was known to
all the employees of VMCI, including herself:
Contrary to the claim of the petitioner, the prosecution adduced preponderant evidence to prove the existence, the
due execution and the authenticity of the said checks and charge invoices consisting of the admission of no less than
the petitioner in his counter-affidavit. The petitioner admitted therein that he received the total amount
of P1,500,150.00 from VMCI in full payment of the delivery and sale of the empty bags by NMI to VMCI and that
the said amount was in the custody of the said corporation. With the admissions of the petitioner in his counteraffidavit, the prosecution even no longer needed to adduce evidence aliunde to prove the existence, due execution
and the authenticity of the charge invoices and the checks.
Petition DENIED. RTC and CA AFFIRMED.