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SCRIPT

Robbery with Homicide


PROSECUTION
Direct Examination
DEFENSE: For the accused, ready your Honor.
PROSECUTION: We are ready, your Honor. We are presenting our 4 th and 2nd to the last
witness, your Honor.
COURT: Call and swear the witness.
INTERPRETER: (Interpreter will swear in witness) Do you swear to tell the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
WITNESS: I do.
COURT: Please tell the court your name, age, occupation, residence and other personal
circumstance.
WITNESS: My Name is Lance Bryan Tan, 50 years of age, married, a physician, and a
resident of ______________.
COURT: Your witness.
PROSECUTION: Your Honor, we are presenting the testimony of Lance Bryan Tan:
1) to prove that he is the one who conducted the autopsy on the robbery victim,
Enrique Pedoc Y Gernale;
2) to testify about his authority and expertise in conducting such an autopsy;
3) that in relation to said autopsy conducted, to identify the autopsy report submitted
to the court previously marked as Exhibits D, D-1, D-2 and D-3).; and
4) to prove the authenticity of the signature of the expert witness on such autopsy
report.
Thats all for the offer, your Honor.
COURT: Comment?
DEFENSE: We will just cross-examine the witness, your Honor.

Q. Mr. Witness, would you give us a brief review of your medical education?
A. I went to University of Sto. Tomas (UST) College of Science in 1999, with a course in
Biology. After which, I obtained my Doctor of Medicine Degree from University of Sto.
Tomas in 2004. Following that, I had a year as an Associate at the Philippine College of
Occupational Medicine. After that, I took 2 years of training at the PNP Crime Laboratory
Research and Training Division. Then I took my pathology training at the Veterans
Memorial Medical Center for 5 years. I am an honorary clinical fellow of the University of
Leicester.

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Q: May I know your occupation is?


A. I am a physician. Currently, I am a Medico Legal Officer of the Philippine National
Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory.
Q. Dr. Tan, as a physician, do you have a particular specialty?
A. I am a pathologist, and within that specialty I practice forensic pathology.
Q. Could you give us a brief description of what forensic pathology is?
A. Yes. Forensic pathology is a sub-specialty of pathology that focuses on
determining the cause of death by examining a corpse. Our role as Forensic
Pathologists is to assist police and courts to resolve critical medical issues, including
causes of death, the circumstances in which deaths occurred and how injuries might
have been caused. We focus on the examination of deceased people.

Q: Are you board certified?


A. I am board certified in clinical, anatomic, and forensic pathology, all three areas.
Q: Can you tell us your scores in those three areas?
A: I got 82% in Clinical Pathology, 80.35% in Anatomic Pathology and 85% in Forensic
Pathology.
Q: Dr. Tan, you said you are a medico legal officer at the PNP Crime Laboratory,
can you explain what is a medico legal and your responsibilities as a medico legal
officer?
A: Yes, I can. Medico legal pertains to the legal aspects of the practice of medicine. As a
medico legal, I am responsible for conducting death investigations or autopsies and
certifying the cause and manner of unnatural and unexplained deaths. Unnatural and
unexplained deaths include homicides, suicides, unintentional injuries, drug-related
deaths, and other deaths that are sudden or unexpected.
Q: How long have you been working at the PNP Crime Laboratory as a Medico
Legal Officer?
A: I have been working as a Medico Legal Officer of the PNP Crime Lab for more than
20 years.
Q: Are you teaching or lecturing in your field?
A: I do lectures for those preparing for the licensure exam but not on a regular basis.
Q: In what school?
A: UP Manila.
Q: Are you a member of any professional society or association?
A: Yes, Philippine Medical Association.
Q: Have you held any position in it?
A: Yes. As a secretary at first, then later on, as the President for two (2) terms.
Q: Have you published any articles?
A: No, I havent.

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Q: Have you attended any seminars or conferences?


A: Yes. Some are conferences in:
1) Grey's Hospital, Switzerland called Modern Medical Autopsy by Dr. Grey;
2) Hands-On Peripheral Venous & Arterial Imaging, Including Vascular Access ;
and
3) ICI Meeting 2014 - the International Conference for Innovations in
Cardiovascular Systems and High-T.
Q: Do you have previous experiences testifying in courts?
A: Yes.
Q: In what cases?
A: Murder, homicide cases, suicides, unintentional injuries, drug-related deaths, and
other deaths that are sudden or unexpected.
Q: How many times have you been testifying in courts?
A: Approximately more than 20 times.
Q: Prior to today doctor, have you been qualified as an expert in the courts of the
Philippines?
W: Yes.
Q: Approximately how many times?
A: I really couldnt remember exactly how many but definitely more than twenty times
since Ive been in this field of work for a very long time.
Q. As a medico legal officer, is one of the things that you do is to conduct
autopsies?
A. Yes, it is.
Q: Approximately how many autopsies are you conducting in a week?
A: An average of 2 per month.
Q: How many autopsies or medico legal examinations have you conducted so far?
A: Ive already conducted hundreds of autopsies.
Q. Dr. Tan, I am going to refer you back to August 12, 2015. Do you recall where
were you on that date at around 7:00 PM?
A: Yes. I was at the PNP Crime Lab in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Q: Is there anything remarkable on that night of August 12, 2015?
A: Yes. I was contacted to conduct an autopsy on a victim of at the Ospital ng Maynila,
morgue area.
Q: Do you recall the name of that victim?
A: It is a certain Enrique Pedoc y Gernale.
Q: Have you conducted any examination on the victim?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: Who contacted you to examine the victim? Was there a request?

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A: I was instructed by our Chief Superintendent, Liza Sabong, PNP Crime Lab Chief.
The request was made verbally.
Q: What kind of examination have you conducted?
A: I conducted an autopsy on the victim. I performed a general inspection of the external
body and then proceeded to conduct internal examination.

Q: Do you remember what time the autopsy was conducted?


A: The autopsy begun at around 8:45 PM. The body was presented in a black body bag.
The victim is wearing a white T-shirt and navy blue maong pants.
Q: Can you tell this court your findings when you conducted the examination?
A: Externally, I found a deep laceration on the neck of the victim, measured 5 inches in
length and 1 inch in width, located 6 inches below the top of the head and 5 inches from
the front of the body. The laceration is horizontally oriented. Subsequent autopsy shows
that the pathway is through the skin.
Q: You said you made external examination. Can you describe your findings when
you conducted the internal examination?
A: Autopsy shows a broken hyoid bone in the skeletal system. The oral cavity shows no
lesions. The lungs are unremarkable. Stomach contents are saved. Both the thyroid and
cricoid cartilage are lacerated.
Q: Dr. Tan, when you say thyroid cartilage and cricoid cartilage, what do they
mean?
A: Thyroid cartilage is a large cartilage of the larynx, a projection of which forms the
Adams apple in humans; cricoid cartilage is the ring-shaped cartilage of the larynx (or
the voice box).
Q: Doctor, do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as
to what caused the laceration of the victim?
A: Yes. The single, deep laceration is caused by a bladed weapon, most probably by a
knife, considering the relative position of the assailant to the victim when the injury was
inflicted.
Q: Was the deep laceration a substantial factor in bringing about the death of the
victim?
A: Yes. Due to the deep laceration, there was a massive blood loss aggravated by
asphyxia (or suffocation) due to blood clot.
Q: Is there any possibility that someone may have survived such kind of deep
laceration on the neck?
A: No, it is a fatal wound, having considered the character of the knife and the relative
distance of the assailants to the victim. In fact, it is the immediate cause of death of the
victim.
Q: Doctor, in your opinion based on your expertise, what is the immediate cause
of death of the victim?
A: The victims immediate cause of death is massive blood loss due to laceration,
aggravated by asphyxia due to blood clot.

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Q: Based in your opinion based on your expertise, can you tell the approximate
time of the death of the victim and the manner of his death?
A: Considering the body temperature, rigor and livor mortis and stomach contents, the
time of death is approximately between 7:30 to 9:30 PM. The manner of the death of the
victim is homicide.
Q: Why did you say it is homicide?
A: Because the single laceration is deep and horizontally oriented. There are presence
of defense wounds. Blood are at the back of the neck, the hands of the victim are clean.
Q: You said Dr. Tan, you were the one who conducted an autopsy on the victim,
Enrique Pedoc. Are you Dr. Tan as a medico-legal officer who prepared this
autopsy report?
A: Yes.
P: Your honor, I would like to ask permission to approach the witness, so that I
could show this document for purposes of identification.
COURT: Proceed.
Q: Is this the autopsy report you performed?
A: Yes, maam.
Q: There is a signature at the bottom _____ of the 3 rd page of the report, do you
know whose signature is this?

INTERPETER: Witness identifying the signature appearing on the document


showed by the Prosecutor.
A: It is my signature.
Q: Is the report in the same condition when you executed it, Dr. Tan?
A: Yes it is. There is no alteration or whatsoever.

PROSECUTION: Your Honor, may I manifest that this autopsy report performed by the
witness, Dr. Lance Bryan Tan, consisting of 3 pages, is the Summary Report of Autopsy,
which has been previously marked as Exhibit D (1 st page), D-1 (2nd page), and D-2 (3rd
page), your Honor; and the signature of the witness (on 3rd page), which has been
previously marked as Exhibit D-3 for the prosecution.
Thats all for the witness, your Honor.

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