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 On March 31, 1876 by virtue of the Royal Decree No. 188, of the King of
Spain, the position of "Medico Titulares" was created and made in charge
of public sanitation and at the same time medico-legal aid in the
administration of justice.
 In 1894, rules regulating the services of those "Medico Titulary Forences"
was published.


 In 1895, medico-legal laboratory was established in the City of Manila and

extended at the same time its services to the provinces.


 In 1898, American Civil Government preserved the Spanish forensic

medicine system.
 In 1901, Philippine Commission created the provincial, insular and
municipal Board of Health (Act Nos. 157, 307 and 308) in the Philippines
and assigned to the respective inspectors and presidents of the same,
medico-legal duties of the "Medico Titulares" of the Spanish regime. The
Philippine Legislature maintained the pre-existing medico-legal system in
full force in the Administrative Code.
 In 1908, the Philippine Medical School incorporated the teaching of Legal
Medicine, one hour a week to the fifth year medical students.


 In 1919, the University of the Philippines created the Department of Legal

Medicine and Ethics with the head having the salary of 4,000.00 pesos per
annum, half-time basis, with Dr. Sixto de los Angeles as the chief.
 On January 10, 1922, the head of the Department of Legal Medicine and
Ethics became the Chief of the Medico-Legal Department of the Philippine
General Hospital without pay.

 On March 10, 1922,-the Philippine Legislature enacted Act. No. 1043 which
became incorporated in the Administrative Code as Section 2465 and
provided that the Department of Legal Medicine, University of -the
Philippines, became a branch of the Department of Justice.
 On December 10, 1937, Commonwealth Act. No. 181 was passed creating
the Division of Investigation under the Department of Justice. The Medico-
Legal Section was made as an integral part of the Division with Dr. Gregorio
T. Lantin as the chief.


 On March 3, 1939, the Department of Legal Medicine of the College of

Medicine, University of the Philippines was abolished and its functions were
transferred to the Medico-Legal Section of the Division of Investigation
under the Department of Justice.
 On July 4, 1942, President Jose P. Laurel consolidated by executive order all
the different law-enforcing agencies and created the Bureau of
Investigation on July 8,1944.
 In 1945 immediately after liberation of the City of Manila, the Provost
Marshal of the United States Army created the Criminal Investigation
Laboratory with the Office of the Medical Examiner as an integral part and
with Dr. Mariano Lara as Chief Medical Examiner.
 On June 28, 1945, the Division of Investigation, under the Department of
Justice was reactivated.


 On June 19, 1947, Republic Act. No. 157 creating the Bureau of
Investigation was passed. The Bureau of Investigation was created by virtue
of an executive order of the President of the Philippines. Under the bureau,
a Medico-Legal Division was created with Dr. Enrique V. de los Santos as
the Chief.
 There exists a Medico-Legal Division in the Criminal Laboratory Branch of
the G-2 of the Philippine Constabulary. All provincial, municipal and city
health officers, physicians of hospitals, health centers, asylums,
penitentiaries and colonies are ex-officio medicolegal officers.
 In remote places where the services of a registered physician was not
available, a "Cirujano Ministrante" may perform medico-legal work.
However, after the approval of Republic Act 1982 on June 15, 1954 which
provided for the creation of rural health unit to each municipality
composed of municipal health officer, a public nurse, a midwife and a
sanitary inspector virtually abolished the appointment of Cirujano
Ministrante thereby making qualified physicians to perform medico-legal
functions. June 18, 1949, Republic Act 409 which was later amended by
Republic Act 1934 provides (Sec. 38) for the creation of the office of the
Medical Examiners and Criminal Investigation Laboratory.


On December 23, 1975, Presidential Decree 856 was promulgated and Sec. 95
A. Persons authorized to perform autopsies:
1. Health officers 2. Medical officers of law enforcement agencies
3. Members of the medical staff of accredited hospitals
B. Autopsies shall be performed in the following cases:
1. Whenever required by special laws;
2. Upon order of a competent court, a mayor and a provincial or city fiscal;
3. Upon written request of police authorities,
4. Whenever the Solicitor General, provincial or city fiscal deem it necessary to
disinter and take possession of the remains for examination to determine the
cause of death;
5. Whenever the nearest kin shall request in writing the authorities concerned to
ascertain the cause of death.