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SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 172607. October 26, 2007.]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. RUFINO UMANITO,
appellant.
RESOLUTION
TINGA, J :
p

On appeal is the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals dated 15 February 2006,
affirming the Judgment 2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bauang, La Union,
Branch 67 dated 15 October 1997 finding Rufino Umanito (appellant) guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of rape, sentencing him to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua and ordering him to indemnify the private complainant in the
sum of P50,000.00. 3
On 9 January 1990, appellant was charged with the crime of rape in a Criminal
Complaint 4 which reads:
That on or about 9:00 P.M. of July 15, 1989, at Brgy[.] Daramuangan,
Municipality of Naguilian, Province of La Union, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused who was
armed with a fan knife and by means of force and threats, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously succeeded in having a sexual
intercourse to [sic] the undersigned who is unmarried woman of good
reputation, a woman who is over 12 but below 18 years old [sic] of age, to
the damage and prejudice of the offended party.
CONTRARY TO LAW.

5

It was only five (5) years later, or sometime in 1995, that appellant was arrested. It
took place when he went to the Municipal Hall of Naguilian to secure a police
clearance.
On arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty.
The appellate court's chronicle of the facts is as follows:
It was around 9:00 o'clock in the evening of July 15, 1989, while on her way
to her grandmother's home, when private complainant [AAA] 6 was
accosted by a young male. It was only later when she learned the name of
accused-appellant UMANITO. She recounted that accused-appellant
UMANITO waited for her by the creek, and then with a knife pointed at
[AAA]'s left side of the [sic] abdomen, he forced her to give in to his kisses,
to his holding her breasts and stomach, and to his pulling her by the arm to

while the victim [AAA] went on to her grandmother's house and she noticed that it was already around 1:00 o'clock in the morning when she reached there. On 15 February 2006. 8 Appellant's version on the stand was different. Denying the accusations of AAA. 12 The trial court likewise rejected appellant's defense of alibi. not to report the incident to the police or else he said he would kill her. though. Mateo . private complainant [AAA].be dragged to the Home Economics Building inside the premises of the Daramuangan Elementary School where accused-appellant UMANITO first undressed her [AAA] and himself with his right hand while he still clutched the knife menacingly on his left hand. he claimed that on 15 July 1989. 4 meters long and 24 inches wide. he was home the whole day. 14 appellant's appeal before us was transferred to the Court of Appeals for intermediate review. he added. Finding AAA to be a credible witness. the RTC observed that AAA's demeanor on the witness stand did not indicate any falsehood in her narration. helping his family complete rush work on picture frames ordered from Baguio. [sic] 1989. appellant seeks his acquittal on reasonable doubt by reason of the . It was only then when the victim. 6 months after the incident. private complainant [AAA's] mother. the RTC rendered judgment against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify AAA in the sum of P50. then mounted her. Accused-appellant UMANITO then left. Private complainant [AAA] recounted that she could not shout because she was afraid. [BBB]. After hearing private complainant [AAA]'s story. 11 In so doing. inserting his penis into her [AAA's] vagina and shortly thereafter. the appellate court affirmed the challenged decision. Despite some inconsistencies in her statement. ruling that he did not prove that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime given the testimonies that he and complainant were residing in the same barrio.000. He did not step out of their house on the evening in question. She further recounted that accused-appellant UMANITO laid her down on a bench. set the knife down. her mother brought her to the police station. divulged to her mother the alleged rape and told her the details of what had happened in July. accused-appellant UMANITO dressed up and threatened [AAA] while poking the knife at her neck. 9 Concerning his relationship with AAA. He conjectured. 10 Finding that the prosecution had proven appellant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. that AAA had a crush on him since she frequently visited him at his house. 7 noticed the prominence on [AAA]'s stomach. the Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that the inconsistencies in her statements were too trivial and inconsequential to impair the credibility of her testimony.00. 15 In this appeal. SHCaDA In January 1990. appellant admitted that he had courted her but she spurned him. the court a quo held that the discrepancies in AAA's testimony did not impair her credibility. 13 Pursuant to our ruling in People v.

AAA and AAA's child to submit themselves to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing 22 under the aegis of the New Rule on DNA Evidence 23 (the Rules). we are directing appellant. Appellant asserts that the court a quo erred in giving full faith and credence to the testimony of the complaining witness and in not acquitting him on reasonable doubt. We have pronounced that if it can be conclusively determined that the accused did not sire the alleged victim's child. subject to guidelines prescribed herein. who took off her clothes. the disharmony on a certain point stands out. testified that although he had courted AAA. her real lover who was married to another woman. 18 Appellant capitalizes on the alleged serious inconsistencies in AAA's assertions. his acquittal may be ordained. she stated that they were actually friends. Appellant. appellant highlights AAA's contradictory declarations on when she met appellant and the nature of their relationship. she admitted that they were close. the finding will at least weigh heavily in the ultimate decision in this case. Therefore. He avers that apparently AAA filed the complaint against him only upon the prodding of her mother. On the other. negates AAA's claim that he was the one who raped her but rather supports his assertion that the sexual congress AAA engaged in was with another man. it can now be determined with reasonable certainty whether appellant is the father of AAA's child. they were not sweethearts.belated filing of the case against him and the questionable credibility of AAA with respect to her varying allegations. this testimony largely discounts the possibility of consensual coitus between him and AAA. this may cast the shadow of reasonable doubt and allow his acquittal on this basis. 17 Appellant further puts in issue the long delay in AAA's filing of the complaint. upon his orders. First. With the advance in genetics and the availability of new technology. 19 In particular. 21 If he is found not to be the father. appellant insists. she claimed that she met appellant only on the day of the purported rape. and further characterizes her actions and contentions as incredible and unnatural. Finally. Thus. which took effect on 15 October 2007. on one hand. this Court is called upon to determine whether the prosecution has successfully met the level of proof needed to find appellant guilty of the crime of rape. 16 This aspect. He also alludes to AAA's purportedly inconsistent statements on whether it was appellant or she herself. and still later. AAA made contradictory allegations at the preliminary investigation and on the witness stand with respect to the nature of her relationship with appellant. If he is not. AaCTcI Once again. appellant points out the supposedly conflicting assertions of AAA on whether it was at the creek or in the school building that he kissed her face and other parts of her body. This is the fact that AAA bore a child as a result of the purported rape. later. Among the many incongruent assertions of the prosecution and the defense. . 20 Amidst the slew of assertions and counter-assertions. a happenstance may provide the definitive key to the absolution of the appellant.

a person's DNA profile can determine his identity. we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for identification and parentage testing. the alleged father and child are analyzed to establish parentage. and ensuring the proper administration of justice in every case.P. 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. Of course. DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. National Science Research Institute (NSRI). 24 Verily. Eventually. the use of DNA test as evidence is still open to challenge. as we pointed out in People v. Thus: DNA is the fundamental building block of a person's entire genetic make-up. With PCR testing. Thus. getting sufficient DNA for analysis has become much easier since it became possible to reliably amplify small samples using the PCR method. discussed DNA analysis as evidence and traced the development of its admissibility in our jurisdiction. Though it is not necessary in this case to resort to DNA testing. . Genetic identity is unique. efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty. 25 the process of obtaining such vital evidence has become less arduous — The U.DNA print or identification technology is now recognized as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime. Fortunately. 26 The ground work for acknowledging the strong weight of DNA testing was first laid out in Tijing v. For purposes of criminal investigation. securing the acquittal of the innocent. 27 where the Court said — . that courts should apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid of situations presented. DNA is found in all human cells and is the same in every cell of the same person. . being a novel scientific technique. which conducted the DNA tests in this case. It can aid immensely in determining a more accurate account of the crime committed. The DNA from the mother. The analysis is based on the fact that the DNA of a child/person has two (2) copies. since to reject said result is to deny progress. 28 The leading case of Herrera v. For it was said. Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and scientific ways available. in future it would be useful to all concerned in the prompt resolution of parentage and identity issues. Court of Appeals. Alba . one copy from the mother and the other from the father. Yatar . 29 where the validity of a DNA test as a probative tool to determine filiation in our jurisdiction was put in issue. where biological evidence is available. Hence. tiny amounts of a specific DNA sequence can be copied exponentially within hours. . used the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis. or to absolve one erroneously accused. as the appropriate case comes. courts should not hesitate to rule on the admissibility of DNA evidence.

takes measurements in 13 separate places and can match two (2) samples with a reported theoretical error rate of less than one (1) in a trillion. when DNA or fingerprint tests are done to identify a suspect in a criminal case. C (cystosine) and T (thymine). the DNA of an individual's blood is the very DNA in his or her skin cells. G (guanine). saliva." cHAaCE Every gene has a certain number of the above base pairs distributed in a particular sequence. PCR is the process of replicating or copying DNA in an evidence sample a million times through repeated cycling of a reaction involving the so-called DNA polymerize enzyme. and the most recent which is known as the PCR-([polymerase] chain reaction) based STR (short tandem repeats) method which. And since DNA is a double-stranded molecule. They are known as A (adenine). Being a component of every cell in the human body. it is composed of two specific paired bases. VNTR (variable number tandem repeats). hair follicles." How is DNA typing performed? From a DNA sample obtained or extracted. These are called "genes. tests. If a substantial amount of the identifying features are the same. the DNA or . samples from buccal swabs. or other body parts. in DNA typing. They are known as "polymorphic loci. The DNA is processed to generate a pattern. mtDNA process. "reverse dot blot" or HLA DQ a/Pm loci which was used in 287 cases that were admitted as evidence by 37 courts in the U. a molecular biologist may proceed to analyze it in several ways. They are: t h e RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism). are sections that differ. DNA typing simply means determining the "polymorphic loci. We quote relevant portions of the trial court's 3 February 2000 Order with approval: Everyone is born with a distinct genetic blueprint called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). This gives a person his or her genetic code." which are the areas analyzed in DNA typing (profiling. There are five (5) techniques to conduct DNA typing. the evidence collected from the crime scene is compared with the "known" print. was availed of by most forensic laboratories in the world. In other words. and DNA is unchanging throughout life. It is exclusive to an individual (except in the rare occurrence of identical twins that share a single. This DNA profile is unique for each person. fertilized egg). Just like in fingerprint analysis. muscles. nonetheless. semen. "matches " are determined. fingerprinting. The order in which the four bases appear in an individual's DNA determines his or her physical makeup. or a DNA profile. except for identical twins. The chemical structure of DNA has four bases. To illustrate. as of November 1994.S. A-T or T-A and G-C or CG. on the other hand. for the individual from whom the sample is taken. Somewhere in the DNA framework.DNA analysis is a procedure in which DNA extracted from a biological sample obtained from an individual is examined. or analysis/DNA fingerprinting/genetic tests or fingerprinting). as of 1996. STR.

. it is possible to determine which half of the child's DNA was inherited from the mother. . If the DNA types match. In Yatar. 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. showed appellant guilty of rape with homicide. The Court ruled that a difference between the DNA profile of the convict-petitioner and the DNA profile of the victim's child does not preclude the convict-petitioner’s commission of rape. not admissibility. following Vallejo's footsteps. DCSTAH In 2004. it is deemed not to have come from the suspect. The alleged father's profile is then examined to ascertain whether he has the DNA types in his profile. If the man's DNA types do not match that of the child. In De Villa. In each of these regions. As earlier stated. The Court. certain regions of human DNA show variations between people. Vallejo discussed DNA analysis as evidence. . where we stated that "DNA. This may be considered a 180 degree turn from the Court's wary attitude towards DNA testing in the 1997 Pe Lim case. even if only one feature of the DNA or fingerprint is different. there was no longer any question on the validity of the use of DNA analysis as evidence. a person possesses two genetic types called "allele. By 2002. Commission on Elections 31 likewise reiterated the acceptance of DNA testing in our jurisdiction in this wise: "[i]n case proof of filiation . Comparing next the DNA profiles of the mother and child. corroborated by circumstantial evidence. then he is not excluded as the father (Emphasis in the original). the man is excluded as the father. being a relatively new science. which match the paternal types in the child. In [a] paternity test." In Vallejo. the DNA profile from the vaginal swabs taken from the rape victim matched the accused's DNA profile. of DNA evidence. the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an individual to produce a DNA profile. Yatar and In re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo de Villa. 30 The 2004 case of Tecson v. xxx xxx xxx The 2002 case of People v. the convict-petitioner presented DNA test results to prove that he is not the father of the child conceived at the time of commission of the rape. We affirmed the accused's conviction of rape with homicide and sentenced him to death." one inherited from each parent. a match existed between the DNA profile of the semen found in the victim and the DNA profile of the blood sample given by appellant in open court. But then. xxx xxx xxx Vallejo discussed the probative value.fingerprint is deemed to be a match. The other half must have been inherited from the biological father. has not yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. affirmed the conviction of appellant because the physical evidence. there were two other cases that had a significant impact on jurisprudence on DNA testing: People v.

Such order shall issue after due hearing and notice to the parties upon a showing of the following: (a) A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case. but the results may require confirmation for good reasons. and (e) The existence of other factors. which examines genetic codes obtained from body cells of the illegitimate child and any physical residue of the long dead parent could be resorted to. The Rule shall not preclude a DNA testing. it would be unbecoming of the RTC to conclude otherwise. or (ii) was previously subjected to DNA testing. (b) The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested. including law enforcement agencies. in conformity with Section 5 of the Rules. is material to the fair and correct adjudication of the instant appeal. Application for DNA Testing Order . Under Section 4 of the Rules. (c) and (e) of the Rules. with due notice to the parties. However. order a DNA testing. it shall order the same. while this Court retains jurisdiction over the case at bar.or paternity would be unlikely to satisfactorily establish or would be difficult to obtain. capacitated as it is to receive and act on the matter in controversy. The hearing should be confined to ascertaining the feasibility of DNA testing with due regard to the standards set in Section 4 (a). the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts and does not. it would be more appropriate that the case be remanded to the RTC for reception of evidence in appropriate hearings. motu proprio to order a DNA testing. 33 Hence. the courts are authorized. Section 4 (d) notwithstanding. if any. thus: SEC. (c) The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique. after due hearing and notice. — The appropriate court may. 35 It is also the RTC which shall determine the institution 36 to undertake the DNA testing and the parties are free . without need of a prior court order. at the behest of any party. at any time. either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. which may be accomplished through DNA testing." 32 It is obvious to the Court that the determination of whether appellant is the father of AAA's child. 4. which the court may consider as potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing. 34 Given our earlier pronouncements on the relevance of the DNA testing. (d) The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case. What should be the proper scope of such hearings? Section 4 of the Rules spells out the matters which the trial court must determine. in the course of daily routine. DNA testing. conduct hearings. (b). before a suit or proceeding is commenced. Should the RTC find the DNA testing feasible in the case at bar.

— In evaluating whether the DNA testing methodology is reliable. to wit: SEC. Reliability of DNA testing methodology . 7. whether the theory or technique can be and has been tested. (c) The general acceptance of the principles or methods by the relevant scientific community. Assessment of probative value of DNA evidence. the court shall consider the following: (a) The chain of custody. If the laboratory is not accredited. (c) The forensic DNA laboratory. the relevant experience of the laboratory in forensic casework and credibility shall be properly established. (e) The existence of an appropriate reference population database. and compliance with the scientifically valid standards in conducting the tests. shall assess the same as evidence in keeping with Sections 7 and 8 of the Rules. 8. (b) The DNA testing methodology. as hereinafter provided. how they were handled. the court shall consider the following: (a) The falsifiability of the principles or methods used. the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure. 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. (d) The existence and maintenance of standards and controls to ensure the correctness of data gathered. (b) The subjection to peer review and publication of the principles or methods. in evaluating the DNA results upon presentation. that is. The provisions of the Rules of Court concerning the appreciation of evidence shall apply suppletorily.to manifest their comments on the choice of DNA testing center. — In assessing the probative value of the DNA evidence presented. SEC. and (f) The general degree of confidence attributed to mathematical calculations used in comparing DNA profiles and the significance and . The RTC. including accreditation by any reputable standards-setting institution and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. including the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. including how the biological samples were collected. and IACDaS (d) The reliability of the testing result. and the possibility of contamination of the samples.

. Jacinto and Juan Q. ESaITA WHEREFORE. Penned by Associate Justice Vicente Q. among other things. and (b) assess and submit periodic reports on said implementation to the Court. 39 Moreover. The trial court is further enjoined to observe the requirements of confidentiality and preservation of the DNA evidence in accordance with Sections 11 37 and 12 38 of the Rules. Enriquez. that the tested parties are appropriately identified at their sample collection appointments. concur.. In light of the fact that this case constitutes the first known application of the Rules. the instant case is remanded to the RTC for reception of DNA evidence in accordance with the terms of this Resolution. Roxas and concurred in by Associate Justices Godardo A. such costs may be advanced by this Court if needed. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. Footnotes 1.e. 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. the following data: how the samples were collected. Carpio-Morales and Velasco. Rollo. though the parties are primarily bound to bear the expenses for DNA testing. SO ORDERED. 3-15. For purposes of supervising the implementation the instant resolution. whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests. In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. pp. The RTC is further directed to report to the Court the results of the proceedings below within sixty (60) days from receipt hereof. A final note. In order to facilitate the execution of this Resolution. the RTC shall consider. that the samples are protected with tamper tape at the collection site. Towards the fulfillment of such end. the Court designates Deputy Court Administrator Reuben Dela Cruz (DCA Dela Cruz) to: (a) monitor the manner in which the court a quo carries out the Rules. JJ. how they were handled. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. i.: that the samples are collected by a neutral third party.. Jr. Jr. 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.limitation of statistical calculations used in comparing DNA profiles. Carpio. the possibility of contamination of the samples. Quisumbing. the RTC is directed to cooperate and coordinate with DCA Dela Cruz. the Court is especially interested in monitoring the implementation thereof in this case. for its guidance and continuing evaluation of the Rules as implemented.

19 May 2004. 19. G. No. Nos. 15 October 2007. 12.R. at 10. No. 15. CA rollo. 7 July 2004. 6. 19 September 2006. 147678-87. Yatar. CA rollo. 7. 3. 12. 11 February 1997. genetic tests. 13. 6-8.R. No.M. 24. Id. Id. 16. 18. at 515. p. DNA fingerprinting. 4.2. 1. pp. 06-11-5-SC. Id. 22. See In Re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for De Villa. 428 SCRA 504. TSN. 514. 442 SCRA 706 (2004). 13 March 1996. G. 23. G. 5. 17. at 3. p.R. See People v. Supra note 1 at 8. The real name of the victim is withheld per R.R. 21. The real name of the victim's mother is likewise withheld to protect her and the victim's privacy. at 34. 58. 392. No. TSN. Id. Paneda. DNA profiling. G.A. 9262. A. pp. 5. Id. 20-24. 29 March 1995. Cabalquinto. 167693. See People v. 502 SCRA 419. p. Records. Marquez (430 Phil. . 14. pp. 9. p. 11. 10. No. 8. 20. Id. Records. Id. 9-10. No. 58-59. 20-34. 4. 11. 433 SCRA 640.A. supra. 31. 383 [2002]). Supra note 2 at 33-34. pp. In People v. 25. Cabalquinto. CA rollo. 428 SCRA 505 (2004). TSN. 2-3. and genetic fingerprinting. People v. 26. Supra note 1 at 5-6. pp. CA rollo. 150224. 19 May 2004. Penned by Judge Jose G. we characterized DNA testing as synonymous to DNA typing. 7610 and R. 11 February 1997. See also TSN. p. 150224.

37. Except upon order of the court. — (a) Order. 11. — If the court finds that the requirements in Section 4 hereof have been complied with. No. G. 28. 15 June 2005. 449 (2001). RULE ON DNA EVIDENCE. Id. Sec. under such terms and conditions as may be set forth by the court: (1) Person from whom the sample was taken. 148220. 31. the testing process and the reliability of the test results. 30.27. 5. as appropriate. 406 Phil. a DNA profile and all results or other information obtained from DNA testing shall only be released to any of the following. Confidentiality.R. G. that biological samples be taken from any person or crime scene evidence. 161434. . at 345. 35. 36. issue an order requiring all parties to the case or proceedings to witness the DNA testing to be conducted. Sandoval. SEC. No. 460 SCRA 197. 471 SCRA 266 (2005). Citations omitted. G. No. Carlos v. . . 34. and ICASEH (c) If the biological sample taken is of such an amount that prevents the conduct of confirmatory testing by the other or the adverse party and where additional biological samples of the same kind can no longer be obtained. — DNA profiles and all results or other information obtained from DNA testing shall be confidential. including a condition that the DNA test results shall be simultaneously disclosed to parties involved in the case. DNA Testing Order . 33. See also Agustin v. 162571. 424 SCRA 277. Luke's Medical Center. 3 March 2004.R. (3) Lawyers of private complainants in a criminal action. at 461. Court of Appeals . 460 SCRA 315.R. Among the current known institutions offering DNA testing are the University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute and St. (b) Impose reasonable conditions on DNA testing designed to protect the integrity of the biological sample. the court shall. Id. (2) Lawyers representing parties in the case or action where the DNA evidence is offered and presented or sought to be offered and presented. 29. at 209-213. SEC. The grant of a DNA testing application shall not be construed as an automatic admission into evidence of any component of the DNA evidence that may be obtained as a result thereof. 15 June 2005. 32. 4. . Id.

in case the accused is serving sentence. the same may be disclosed to the persons named in the written verified request. presented or sought to be offered and presented. Where the person from whom the biological sample was taken files a written verified request to the court that allowed the DNA testing for the disclosure of his DNA profile and all results or other information obtained from the DNA testing. People v. the court may order the appropriate government agency to preserve the DNA evidence as follows: (a) In criminal cases: i. Whoever discloses. until such time as the decision in the case where the DNA evidence was introduced has become final and executory. DNA profiles and results or other genetic information obtained from DNA testing. SEC. for not less than the period of time that any person is under trial for an offense. and (b) in all other cases. 817 (2002). For this purpose. 431 Phil. 798. 12. including all biological samples.(4) Duly authorized law enforcement agencies. until such time as the accused has served his sentence. 38. Preservation of DNA evidence. Vallejo. utilizes or publishes in any form any information concerning a DNA profile without the proper court order shall be liable for indirect contempt of the court wherein such DNA evidence was offered. 39. — The trial court shall preserve the DNA evidence. . or. ii. The court may allow the physical destruction of a biological sample before the expiration of the periods set forth above provided that: (a) a court order to that effect has been secured. in its totality. or (b) the person from whom the DNA sample was obtained has consented in writing to the disposal of the DNA evidence. and (5) Other persons as determined by the court.