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inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.·DNA print or identification


technology is now recognized as a uniquely effective means to link a
suspect to a crime, or to absolve one erroneously accused, where
biological evidence is available. For purposes of criminal
investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both
inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. It can aid immensely in
determining a more accurate account of the
552 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Umanito
_______________
*
G.R. No. 172607. October 26, 2007. * SECOND DIVISION.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. RUFINO


UMANITO, appellant. 553

Criminal Law; Evidence; New Rule on Deoxyribonucleic Acid


(DNA) Evidence; Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Testing; If it can be VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 553
conclusively determined that the accused did not sire the alleged
rape victimÊs child, this may cast the shadow of reasonable doubt People vs. Umanito
and allow his acquittal on this basis.·Amidst the slew of assertions
and counter-assertions, a happenstance may provide the definitive crime committed, efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty,
key to the absolution of the appellant. This is the fact that AAA bore securing the acquittal of the innocent, and ensuring the proper
a child as a result of the purported rape. With the advance in administration of justice in every case. Verily, as we pointed out in
genetics and the availability of new technology, it can now be People v. Yatar, 428 SCRA 505 (2004), the process of obtaining such
determined with reasonable certainty whether appellant is the vital evidence has become less arduous·The U.P. National Science
father of AAAÊs child. If he is not, his acquittal may be ordained. We Research Institute (NSRI), which conducted the DNA tests in this
have pronounced that if it can be conclusively determined that the case, used the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification
accused did not sire the alleged victimÊs child, this may cast the method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis. With PCR testing,
shadow of reasonable doubt and allow his acquittal on this basis. If tiny amounts of a specific DNA sequence can be copied
he is found not to be the father, the finding will at least weigh exponentially within hours. Thus, getting sufficient DNA for
heavily in the ultimate decision in this case. Thus, we are directing analysis has become much easier since it became possible to reliably
appellant, AAA and her child to submit themselves to amplify small samples using the PCR method.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing under the aegis of the New
Rule on DNA Evidence (the Rules), which took effect on 15 October Same; Same; Same; Remand of Cases; Under Section 4 of the
2007, subject to guidelines prescribed herein. New Rule on Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Evidence, the courts are
authorized, after due hearing and notice, motu proprio to order a
Same; Same; Same; Same; Words and Phrases; Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing; Since the Supreme Court is not
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) print or identification technology is a trier of facts and does not, in the course of daily routine, conduct
now recognized as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a hearings, it would be more appropriate that the case be remanded to
crime, or to absolve one erroneously accused, where biological the Regional Trial Court for reception of evidence in appropriate
evidence is available·for purposes of criminal investigation, hearings, with due notice to the parties.·It is obvious to the Court
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) identification is a fertile source of both

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 537 04/03/2018, 11*50 AM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 537 04/03/2018, 11*50 AM

that the determination of whether appellant is the father of AAAÊs the Rules as implemented. For purposes of supervising the
child, which may be accomplished through DNA testing, is material implementation the instant resolution, the Court designates Deputy
to the fair and correct adjudication of the instant appeal. Under Court Administrator Reuben Dela Cruz (DCA Dela Cruz) to: (a)
Section 4 of the Rules, the courts are authorized, after due hearing monitor the manner in which the court a quo carries out the Rules;
and notice, motu proprio to order a DNA testing. However, while and (b) assess and submit periodic reports on said implementation
this Court retains jurisdiction over the case at bar, capacitated as it to the Court. Towards the fulfillment of such end, the RTC is
is to receive and act on the matter in controversy, the Supreme directed to cooperate and coordinate with DCA Dela Cruz.
Court is not a trier of facts and does not, in the course of daily
routine, conduct hearings. Hence, it would be more appropriate that Same; Same; Same; In order to facilitate the execution of the
the case be remanded to the RTC for reception of evidence in CourtÊs Resolution in the instant case, the costs for the
appropriate hearings, with due notice to the parties. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing may be advanced by the
Supreme Court if needed.·In order to facilitate the execution of
Same; Same; Same; Offer of Evidence; After the this Resolution, though the parties are primarily bound to bear the
Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) analysis is obtained, it shall be expenses for DNA testing, such costs may be advanced by this Court
incumbent upon the parties who wish to avail of the same to offer the if needed.
results in accordance with the rules of evidence.·Should the RTC
find the DNA testing feasible in the case at bar, it shall order the APPEAL from a decision of the Court of Appeals.
same, in conformity with Section 5 of the Rules. It is also the RTC The facts are stated in the resolution of the Court.
which shall determine the institution to undertake the DNA testing The Solicitor General for appellee.
and the parties are free to manifest their comments on the choice of Public AttorneyÊs Office for appellant.
DNA testing
555

554
VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 555

554 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED People vs. Umanito

People vs. Umanito

RESOLUTION
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 TINGA, J.:
DNA results upon presentation, shall assess the same as evidence 1
in keeping with Sections 7 and 8 of the Rules. On appeal is the Decision of the Court of 2Appeals dated 15
February 2006, affirming the Judgment of the Regional
Same; Same; Same; In light of the fact that this case constitutes Trial Court (RTC) of Bauang, La Union, Branch 67 dated
the first known application of the Rules on Deoxyribonucleic Acid 15 October 1997 finding Rufino Umanito (appellant) guilty
(DNA) Evidence, the Court is especially interested in monitoring the beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape, sentencing
implementation thereof in this case, for its guidance and continuing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordering
evaluation of the Rules as implemented.·In light of the fact that him to indemnify
3
the private complainant in the sum of
this case constitutes the first known application of the Rules, the P50,000.00.
Court is especially interested in monitoring the implementation On 9 January 1990, appellant was 4
charged with the
thereof in this case, for its guidance and continuing evaluation of crime of rape in a Criminal Complaint which reads:

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„That on or about 9:00 P.M. of July 15, 1989, at Brgy[.] undressed her [AAA] and himself with his right hand while he still
Daramuangan, Municipality of Naguilian, Province of La Union, clutched the knife menacingly on his left hand. Private complainant
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the [AAA] recounted that she could not shout because she was afraid.
abovenamed accused who was armed with a fan knife and by means She further recounted that accused-appellant UMANITO laid her
of force and threats, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and down on a bench, 4 meters long and 24 inches wide, set the knife
feloniously succeeded in having a sexual intercourse to [sic] the down, then mounted her, inserting his penis into her [AAAÊs] vagina
undersigned who is unmarried woman of good reputation, a woman and shortly thereafter, accused-appellant UMANITO dressed up
who is over 12 but below 18 years old [sic] of age, to the damage and and threatened [AAA] while poking the knife at her neck, not to
prejudice of the offended party. report the incident to the police or else he said he would kill her.
5
CONTRARY TO LAW.‰ Accusedappellant UMANITO then left, while the victim [AAA] went
on to her grandmotherÊs house and she noticed that it was already
It was only five (5) years later, or sometime in 1995, that around 1:00 oÊclock in the morning when she reached there.
appellant was arrested. It took place when he went to the In January 1990, 6 months after the incident, private
7
Municipal Hall of Naguilian to secure a police clearance. complainant [AAAÊs] mother, [BBB], noticed the prominence on
On arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty. [AAA]Ês stomach. It was only then when the victim, private
The appellate courtÊs chronicle of the facts is as follows: complainant [AAA], divulged to her mother the alleged rape and
told her the details of what had happened in July, [sic] 1989. After
_______________ hearing private complainant [AAA]Ês story, her mother brought her
8
to the police station.‰
1 Rollo, pp. 3-15. Penned by Associate Justice Vicente Q. Roxas and
concurred in by Associate Justices Godardo A. Jacinto and Juan Q. AppellantÊs version on the stand was different. Denying the
Enriquez, Jr. accusations of AAA, he claimed that on 15 July 1989, he
2 CA Rollo, pp. 20-34. Penned by Judge Jose G. Paneda. was
3 Id., at p. 34.
4 Records, p. 1.
_______________
5 Id.
6 The real name of the victim is withheld per R.A. No. 7610 and R.A.
556 No. 9262. See People v. Cabalquinto, G.R. No. 167693, 19 September
2006, 502 SCRA 419.
556 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED 7 The real name of the victimÊs mother is likewise withheld to protect
her and the victimÊs privacy. See People v. Cabalquinto, supra.
People vs. Umanito 8 Supra note 1 at pp. 5-6.

„It was around 9:00 oÊclock in the evening of July 15, 1989, while on 557
her way to her grandmotherÊs home, when private complainant
6
[AAA] was accosted by a young male. It was only later when she
VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 557
learned the name of accused-appellant UMANITO. She recounted
that accused-appellant UMANITO waited for her by the creek, and People vs. Umanito
then with a knife pointed at [AAA]Ês left side of the [sic] abdomen,
he forced her to give in to his kisses, to his holding her breasts and home the whole day, helping his family complete rush work
stomach, and to his pulling her by the arm to be dragged to the on picture frames ordered from Baguio. He did not step out9
Home Economics Building inside the premises of the Daramuangan of their house on the evening in question, he added.
Elementary School where accused-appellant UMANITO first Concerning his relationship with AAA, appellant admitted

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that he had courted her but she spurned him. He doubt by reason of the belated filing of the case against him
conjectured, though, that AAA had a 10 crush on him since and the questionable credibility of AAA with respect to her
she frequently visited him at his house. varying allegations.
Finding that the prosecution had proven appellantÊs Appellant asserts that the court a quo erred in giving
guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the RTC rendered judgment full faith and credence to the testimony of the complaining
against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of witness and in not acquitting him on reasonable doubt. He
reclusion perpetua
11
and to indemnify AAA in the sum of avers that apparently AAA filed the complaint 16
against him
P50,000.00. In so doing, the court a quo held that the only upon the prodding of her mother. This aspect,
discrepancies in AAAÊs testimony did not impair her appellant insists, negates AAAÊs claim that he was the one
credibility. Despite some inconsistencies in her statement, who raped her but rather supports his assertion that the
the RTC observed that AAAÊs demeanor on the witness 12
sexual congress AAA engaged in was with another man, 17
stand did not indicate any falsehood in her narration. her real lover who was married to another woman.
The trial court likewise rejected appellantÊs defense of Appellant further puts 18
in issue the long delay in AAAÊs
alibi, ruling that he did not prove that it was physically filing of the complaint.
impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime given the Appellant capitalizes on the alleged serious
testimonies that
13
he and complainant were residing in the inconsistencies in AAAÊs assertions, and further
same barrio. 14
characterizes
19
her actions and contentions as incredible and
Pursuant to our ruling in People v. Mateo, appellantÊs unnatural. In particular, appellant highlights AAAÊs
appeal before us was transferred to the Court of Appeals contradictory declarations on when she met appellant and
for intermediate review. On 15 February 2006, the the nature of their relationship. He also alludes to AAAÊs
appellate court affirmed the challenged decision. Finding purportedly inconsistent statements on whether it was
AAA to be a credible witness, the Court of Appeals agreed appellant or she herself, upon his orders, who took off her
with the trial court that the inconsistencies in her clothes. Finally, appellant points out the supposedly
statements were too trivial and 15
inconsequential to impair conflicting assertions of AAA on whether it was at the creek
the credibility of her testimony. or in the school building that he kissed her face and other
parts of her body.
_______________ Once again, this Court is called upon to determine
whether the prosecution has successfully met the level of
9 TSN, 11 February 1997, pp. 6-8. proof needed to find appellant guilty of the crime of rape.
10 Id., at p. 10. Among the many incongruent assertions of the
11 Supra note 2 at pp. 33-34. prosecution and the defense, the disharmony on a certain
12 CA Rollo, p. 31. point stands out. Appellant, on one hand, testified that
13 Id. although he had
14 G.R. Nos. 147678-87, 7 July 2004, 433 SCRA 640.
15 Supra note 1 at pp. 8, 11.
_______________
558 16 CA Rollo, p. 58.
17 Id. See also TSN, 11 February 1997, pp. 5, 9-10, 12.
558 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED 18 CA Rollo, pp. 58-59.
19 Records, p. 392.
People vs. Umanito
559
In this appeal, appellant seeks his acquittal on reasonable

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VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 559 560

People vs. Umanito


560 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
courted AAA, they were not sweethearts. Therefore, this People vs. Umanito
testimony largely discounts the possibility of consensual
coitus between him and AAA. On the other, AAA made
DNA print or identification technology is now recognized as
contradictory allegations at the preliminary investigation
a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime, or
and on the witness stand with respect to the nature of her
to absolve one erroneously accused, where biological
relationship with appellant. First, she claimed that she met
evidence is available. For purposes of criminal
appellant only on the day of the purported rape; later, she
investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both
stated that they were actually20 friends; and still later, she
inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. It can aid immensely
admitted that they were close.
in determining a more accurate account of the crime
Amidst the slew of assertions and counter-assertions, a
committed, efficiently facilitating the conviction of the
happenstance may provide the definitive key to the
guilty, securing the acquittal of the innocent, and ensuring
absolution of the appellant. This is the fact that AAA bore a 24
the proper administration of justice in every case. Verily,
child as a result of the purported rape. With the advance in 25
as we pointed out in People v. Yatar, the process of
genetics and the availability of new technology, it can now
obtaining such vital evidence has become less arduous·
be determined with reasonable certainty whether appellant
is the father of AAAÊs child. If he is not, his acquittal may „The U.P. National Science Research Institute (NSRI), which
be ordained. We have pronounced that if it can be conducted the DNA tests in this case, used the Polymerase chain
conclusively determined that the accused did not sire the reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat
alleged victimÊs child, this may cast the shadow21 of (STR) analysis. With PCR testing, tiny amounts of a specific DNA
reasonable doubt and allow his acquittal on this basis. If sequence can be copied exponentially within hours. Thus, getting
he is found not to be the father, the finding will at least sufficient DNA for analysis has become much easier since it became
26
weigh heavily in the ultimate decision in this case. Thus, possible to reliably amplify small samples using the PCR method.‰
we are directing appellant, AAA and her child to22submit
themselves to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing under The ground work for acknowledging the strong weight of
23
the aegis of the New Rule on DNA Evidence (the Rules), DNA testing
27
was first laid out in Tijing v. Court of
which took effect on 15 October 2007, subject to guidelines Appeals, where the Court said·
prescribed herein.
„x x x Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods
unless we adopt the modern and scientific ways available.
_______________
Fortunately, we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA
20 Id., at 3; TSN, 29 March 1995, p. 4; TSN, 13 March 1996, pp. 2-3, test for identification and parentage testing. The University of the
20-24. Philippines Natural Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA
21 See In Re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for De Villa, 442 SCRA 706 Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing
(2004). using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. The analysis is based on
22 In People v. Marquez (430 Phil. 383; 380 SCRA 561 [2002]), we the fact that the DNA of a child/person has two (2) copies, one copy
characterized DNA testing as synonymous to DNA typing, DNA from
fingerprinting, DNA profiling, genetic tests, and genetic fingerprinting.
23 A.M. No. 06-11-5-SC, 15 October 2007. _______________

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24 People v. Yatar, G.R. No. 150224, 19 May 2004, 428 SCRA 504, 514. DNA is unchanging throughout life. Being a component of every cell in
25 G.R. No. 150224, 19 May 2004, 428 SCRA 505 (2004). the human body, the DNA of an individualÊs blood is the very DNA in his
26 Id., at p. 515. or her skin
27 406 Phil. 449; 354 SCRA 17 (2001).
_______________
561
28 Id., at p. 461.
29 G.R. No. 148220, 15 June 2005, 460 SCRA 197. See also Agustin v. Court
VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 561
of Appeals, G.R. No. 162571, 15 June 2005, 460 SCRA 315.
People vs. Umanito
562
the mother and the other from the father. The DNA from the
mother, the alleged father and child are analyzed to establish
562 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
parentage. Of course, being a novel scientific technique, the use of
People vs. Umanito
DNA test as evidence is still open to challenge. Eventually, as the
appropriate case comes, courts should not hesitate to rule on the
admissibility of DNA evidence. For it was said, that courts should cells, hair follicles, muscles, semen, samples from buccal swabs, saliva, or

apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid of other body parts.

situations presented, since to reject said result is to deny progress. The chemical structure of DNA has four bases. They are known as A

Though it is not necessary in this case to resort to DNA testing, in (adenine), G (guanine), C (cystosine) and T (thymine). The order in

future it would be useful to all concerned in the prompt resolution which the four bases appear in an individualÊs DNA determines his or
28
of parentage and identity issues.‰ her physical makeup. And since DNA is a double-stranded molecule, it is
composed of two specific paired bases, A-T or T-A and G-C or C-G. These
29
The leading case of Herrera v. Alba, where the validity of are called „genes.‰
a DNA test as a probative tool to determine filiation in our Every gene has a certain number of the above base pairs distributed in
jurisdiction was put in issue, discussed DNA analysis as a particular sequence. This gives a person his or her genetic code.
evidence and traced the development of its admissibility in Somewhere in the DNA framework, nonetheless, are sections that differ.
our jurisdiction. Thus: They are known as „polymorphic loci,‰ which are the areas analyzed in
DNA typing (profiling, tests, fingerprinting, or analysis/DNA
„DNA is the fundamental building block of a personÊs entire genetic fingerprinting/genetic tests or fingerprinting). In other words, DNA
make-up. DNA is found in all human cells and is the same in every typing simply means determining the „polymorphic loci.‰
cell of the same person. Genetic identity is unique. Hence, a How is DNA typing performed? From a DNA sample obtained or
personÊs DNA profile can determine his identity. extracted, a molecular biologist may proceed to analyze it in several
DNA analysis is a procedure in which DNA extracted from a ways. There are five (5) techniques to conduct DNA typing. They are: the
biological sample obtained from an individual is examined. The RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism); „reverse dot blot‰ or
DNA is processed to generate a pattern, or a DNA profile, for the HLA DQ a/Pm loci which was used in 287 cases that were admitted as
individual from whom the sample is taken. This DNA profile is evidence by 37 courts in the U.S. as of November 1994; mtDNA process;
unique for each person, except for identical twins. We quote VNTR (variable number tandem repeats); and the most recent which is
relevant portions of the trial courtÊs 3 February 2000 Order with known as the PCR-([polymerase] chain reaction) based STR (short
approval: tandem repeats) method which, as of 1996, was availed of by most
forensic laboratories in the world. PCR is the process of replicating or
Everyone is born with a distinct genetic blueprint called DNA
copying DNA in an evidence sample a million times through repeated
(deoxyribonucleic acid). It is exclusive to an individual (except in the
cycling of a reaction involving the so-called DNA polymerize enzyme.
rare occurrence of identical twins that share a single, fertilized egg), and

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STR, on the other hand, takes measurements in 13 separate places and Vallejo discussed the probative value, not admissibility, of DNA
can match two (2) samples with a reported theoretical error rate of less evidence. By 2002, there was no longer any question on the validity
than one (1) in a trillion. of the use of DNA analysis as evidence. The Court moved from the
Just like in fingerprint analysis, in DNA typing, „matches‰ are issue of according „official recognition‰ to DNA analysis as evidence
determined. To illustrate, when DNA or fingerprint tests are done to to the issue of observance of procedures in conducting DNA
identify a suspect in a criminal case, the evidence collected from the analysis.
crime scene is compared with the „known‰ print. If a substantial amount In 2004, there were two other cases that had a significant impact
of the identifying features are the same, the DNA or fingerprint is on jurisprudence on DNA testing: People v. Yatar and In re: The Writ
deemed to be a of Habeas Corpus for Reynaldo de Villa. In Yatar, a match existed
between the DNA profile of the semen found in the victim and the
563 DNA profile of the blood sample given by appellant in open

564
VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 563
People vs. Umanito
564 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
match. But then, even if only one feature of the DNA or fingerprint is People vs. Umanito
different, it is deemed not to have come from the suspect.
As earlier stated, certain regions of human DNA show variations court. The Court, following VallejoÊs footsteps, affirmed the
between people. In each of these regions, a person possesses two genetic conviction of appellant because the physical evidence, corroborated
types called „allele,‰ one inherited from each parent. In [a] paternity test, by circumstantial evidence, showed appellant guilty of rape with
the forensic scientist looks at a number of these variable regions in an homicide. In De Villa, the convict-petitioner presented DNA test
individual to produce a DNA profile. Comparing next the DNA profiles of results to prove that he is not the father of the child conceived at
the mother and child, it is possible to determine which half of the childÊs the time of commission of the rape. The Court ruled that a
DNA was inherited from the mother. The other half must have been difference between the DNA profile of the convict-petitioner and the
inherited from the biological father. The alleged fatherÊs profile is then DNA profile of the victimÊs child does not preclude the convict-
30
examined to ascertain whether he has the DNA types in his profile, petitionerÊs commission of rape.‰
which match the paternal types in the child. If the manÊs DNA types do 31

not match that of the child, the man is excluded as the father. If the The 2004 case of Tecson v. Commission on Elections
DNA types match, then he is not excluded as the father (Emphasis in likewise reiterated the acceptance of DNA testing in our
the original). jurisdiction in this wise: „[i]n case proof of filiation or
xxxx paternity would be unlikely to satisfactorily establish or
would be difficult to obtain, DNA testing, which examines
The 2002 case of People v. Vallejo discussed DNA analysis as genetic codes obtained from body cells of the illegitimate
evidence. This may be considered a 180 degree turn from the child and any physical residue of the long dead parent
32
CourtÊs wary attitude towards DNA testing in the 1997 Pe Lim case, could be resorted to.‰
where we stated that „DNA, being a relatively new science, x x x It is obvious to the Court that the determination of
has not yet been accorded official recognition by our courts.‰ In whether appellant is the father of AAAÊs child, which may
Vallejo, the DNA profile from the vaginal swabs taken from the rape be accomplished through DNA testing, is material to the
victim matched the accusedÊs DNA profile. We affirmed the fair and correct adjudication of the instant appeal. Under
accusedÊs conviction of rape with homicide and sentenced him to Section 4 of the Rules, the courts are authorized, after due
death. hearing and notice, motu proprio to order a DNA testing.
xxxx However, while this Court retains jurisdiction over the case

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at bar, capacitated as it is to receive and act on the matter The Rule shall not preclude a DNA testing, without need of a
in controversy, the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts and
33
prior court order, at the behest of any party, including law
34
does not, in the course of daily routine, conduct hearings. enforcement agencies, before a suit or proceeding is commenced.‰
Hence, it would be more appropriate that the case be
remanded to the RTC for reception of evidence in Given our earlier pronouncements on the relevance of the
appropriate hearings, with due notice to the parties. DNA testing, it would be unbecoming of the RTC to
conclude otherwise, Section 4 (d) notwithstanding. The
hearing should be confined to ascertaining the feasibility of
_______________
DNA testing with due regard to the standards set in
30 Id., at pp. 209-213. Citations omitted. Section 4 (a), (b), (c) and (e) of the Rules.
31 G.R. No. 161434, 3 March 2004, 424 SCRA 277. Should the RTC find the DNA testing feasible in the
32 Id., at p. 345. case at bar, it shall order the same, in conformity with
33 Carlos v. Sandoval, 471 SCRA 266 (2005). Section 5 of

565
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34 RULE ON DNA EVIDENCE, Sec. 4.


VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 565
People vs. Umanito 566

What should be the proper scope of such hearings? Section 566 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
4 of the Rules spells out the matters which the trial court
People vs. Umanito
must determine, thus:
35
„SEC. 4. Application for DNA Testing Order.·The appropriate court the Rules. 36 It is also the RTC which shall determine the
may, at any time, either motu proprio or on application of any institution to undertake the DNA testing and the parties
person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, order a are free to manifest their comments on the choice of DNA
DNA testing. Such order shall issue after due hearing and notice to testing center.
the parties upon a showing of the following: After the DNA analysis is obtained, it shall be
incumbent upon the parties who wish to avail of the same
(a) A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case; to offer the results in accordance with the rules of evidence.
(b) The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to The RTC, in evaluating the DNA results upon presentation,
the type of DNA testing now requested; or (ii) was shall assess the same as evidence in keeping with Sections
previously subjected to DNA testing, but the results may 7 and 8 of the Rules, to wit:
require confirmation for good reasons;
(c) The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique; „SEC. 7. Assessment of probative value of DNA evidence.·In
assessing the probative value of the DNA evidence presented, the
(d) The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new
court shall consider the following:
information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the
case; and
_______________
(e) The existence of other factors, if any, which the court may
consider as potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of 35 SEC. 5. DNA Testing Order.·If the court finds that the
the DNA testing. requirements in Section 4 hereof have been complied with, the court

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shall.· (d) The reliability of the testing result, as hereinafter provided.

(a) Order, as appropriate, that biological samples be taken from any The provisions of the Rules of Court concerning the appreciation of
person or crime scene evidence; evidence shall apply suppletorily.
(b) Impose reasonable conditions on DNA testing designed to protect SEC. 8. Reliability of DNA testing methodology.·In evaluating
the integrity of the biological sample, the testing process and the whether the DNA testing methodology is reliable, the court shall
reliability of the test results, including a condition that the DNA consider the following:
test results shall be simultaneously disclosed to parties involved
in the case; and (a) The falsifiability of the principles or methods used, that is,
whether the theory or technique can be and has been tested;
(c) If the biological sample taken is of such an amount that prevents
the conduct of confirmatory testing by the other or the adverse (b) The subjection to peer review and publication of the
party and where additional biological samples of the same kind principles or methods;
can no longer be obtained, issue an order requiring all parties to (c) The general acceptance of the principles or methods by the
the case or proceedings to witness the DNA testing to be relevant scientific community;
conducted. (d) The existence and maintenance of standards and controls to
ensure the correctness of data gathered;
x x x The grant of a DNA testing application shall not be construed as
(e) The existence of an appropriate reference population
an automatic admission into evidence of any component of the DNA
database; and
evidence that may be obtained as a result thereof.
36 Among the current known institutions offering DNA testing are the (f) The general degree of confidence attributed to mathematical
University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute and St. calculations used in comparing DNA profiles and the
LukeÊs Medical Center. significance and limitation of statistical calculations used in
comparing DNA profiles.
567
568

VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 567


568 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
People vs. Umanito
People vs. Umanito
(a) The chain of custody, including how the biological samples
were collected, how they were handled, and the possibility of The trial court is further enjoined to observe the
contamination of the samples; requirements of confidentiality and preservation
37
of 38the
(b) The DNA testing methodology, including the procedure DNA evidence in accordance with Sections 11 and 12 of
followed in analyzing the samples, the advantages and the Rules.
disadvantages of the procedure, and compliance with the
scientifically valid standards in conducting the tests; _______________
(c) The forensic DNA laboratory, including accreditation by any
37 SEC. 11. Confidentiality.·DNA profiles and all results or other
reputable standards-setting institution and the qualification
information obtained from DNA testing shall be confidential. Except
of the analyst who conducted the tests. If the laboratory is
upon order of the court, a DNA profile and all results or other
not accredited, the relevant experience of the laboratory in
information obtained from DNA testing shall only be released to any of
forensic casework and credibility shall be properly
the following, under such terms and conditions as may be set forth by the
established; and
court:

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(1) Person from whom the sample was taken; tests, and39 the qualification of the analyst who conducted
(2) Lawyers representing parties in the case or action where the the tests.
DNA evidence is offered and presented or sought to be offered and Moreover, the court a quo must ensure that the proper
presented; chain of custody in the handling of the samples submitted
(3) Lawyers of private complainants in a criminal action; by the parties is adequately borne in the records, i.e.: that
the samples are collected by a neutral third party; that the
(4) Duly authorized law enforcement agencies; and
tested parties are appropriately identified at their sample
(5) Other persons as determined by the court.
collection appointments; that the samples are protected
with tamper tape at the collection site; that all persons in
Whoever discloses, utilizes or publishes in any form any information
possession thereof at each stage of testing thoroughly
concerning a DNA profile without the proper court order shall be liable
inspected the samples for tampering and explained his role
for indirect contempt of the court wherein such DNA evidence was
in the custody of the samples and the acts he performed in
offered, presented or sought to be offered and presented.
relation thereto.
Where the person from whom the biological sample was taken files a
In light of the fact that this case constitutes the first
written verified request to the court that allowed the DNA testing for the
known application of the Rules, the Court is especially
disclosure of his DNA profile and all results or other information
interested in monitoring the implementation thereof in this
obtained from the DNA testing, the same may be disclosed to the persons
case, for its guidance and continuing evaluation of the
named in the written verified request.
Rules as implemented. For purposes of supervising the
38 SEC. 12. Preservation of DNA evidence.·The trial court shall
implementation the instant resolution, the Court
preserve the DNA evidence, in its totality, including all biological
designates Deputy Court Administrator Reuben Dela Cruz
samples, DNA profiles and results or other genetic information obtained
(DCA Dela Cruz) to: (a) monitor the manner in which the
from DNA testing. For this purpose, the court may order the appropriate
court a quo carries out the Rules;
government agency to preserve the DNA evidence as follows:

(a) In criminal cases: _______________

i. for not less than the period of time that any person is under trial (b) in all other cases, until such time as the decision in the case
for an offense; or, where the DNA evidence was introduced has become final and
ii. in case the accused is serving sentence, until such time as the executory.
accused has served his sentence; and
The court may allow the physical destruction of a biological sample
569 before the expiration of the periods set forth above provided that:

(a) a court order to that effect has been secured; or


VOL. 537, OCTOBER 26, 2007 569 (b) the person from whom the DNA sample was obtained has
People vs. Umanito consented in writing to the disposal of the DNA evidence.

39 People v. Vallejo, 431 Phil. 798, 817; 382 SCRA 192, 209 (2002).
In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, the RTC
shall consider, among other things, the following data: how 570
the samples were collected, how they were handled, the
possibility of contamination of the samples, the procedure
570 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper
standards and procedures were followed in conducting the People vs. Umanito

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and (b) assess and submit periodic reports on said


implementation to the Court. Towards the fulfillment of
such end, the RTC is directed to cooperate and coordinate
with DCA Dela Cruz. © Copyright 2018 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.
A final note. In order to facilitate the execution of this
Resolution, though the parties are primarily bound to bear
the expenses for DNA testing, such costs may be advanced
by this Court if needed.
WHEREFORE, the instant case is remanded to the RTC
for reception of DNA evidence in accordance with the terms
of this Resolution. The RTC is further directed to report to
the Court the results of the proceedings below within sixty
(60) days from receipt hereof.
SO ORDERED.

Quisumbing (Chairperson), Carpio, Carpio-Morales


and Velasco, Jr., JJ., concur.

Case remanded to Regional Trial Court for reception of


DNA evidence.

Notes.·DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) paternity testing


first came to prominence in the United States, where it
yielded its first official results sometime in 1985. In the
decade that followed, DNA rapidly found widespread
general acceptance. Several cases decided by various State
Supreme Courts reflect the total assimilation of DNA
testing into their rules of procedure and evidence. (Agustin
vs. Court of Appeals, 460 SCRA 315 [2005])
Although the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) evidence was
undoubtedly discovered after trial, it does not meet the
criteria for „newly-discovered evidence‰ that would merit a
new trial·such evidence disproving paternity could have
been discovered and produced at trial with the exercise of
reasonable diligence. (In Re: The Writ of Habeas Corpus for
Reynaldo De Villa, 442 SCRA 706 [2004])

··o0o··

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