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2003] ADMISSIBILITY OF DNA EVIDENCE 33

People v. Vallejo: Setting the Precedent forthe applications of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology. This technology
has been used to study diseases, discover cures, identify bodies, research
Admission of DNA Evidence about anthropological history, and so on. ·
Ma. Nina C. Araneta*
It has also found a place in the field of law as evidence. It has been
sixteen years since the United States trial courts admitted DNA test results as
evidence.l Typically, Philippine courts have been slow in adopting the
I. INTRODUCTION • . • . • • . • • • • . . • . . . . . • . • . . . • . . . • • . . • . . . 32 advances of their U.S. counterparts. In spite of the existing right of each
·. II. FACTS OF THE CASE••....••.•..•..••.•.••.•.•••.•••.. 33 person to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress, Philippine Courts have
'·III. REVISITING THE PROCEDURE UNDER THE CIVIL CODE been reluctant to definitively accept this new technology in the proceedings
AND THE RULES OF COURT •. · • · · • · • • • • • · • • · · • · • · • • · • • · 34 before it. This delay could be attributed to a natural suspicion of something
, A. Um v. CA: Non-recognition if DNA Evidence Under novel and unproven as well as a skepticism of Philippine technology. At
\ Rule 103 and 1o8 if the Revised Rules of Court present, however, the consistency of DNA test results have been well-
\B. Tijing v. CA: Court's Changing Perspective documented. Furthermore, there are already several scientific laboratories
•C. Admissibility Standards in American Jurisprudence with the proper facilities found in the country. With these factors, the
IV.INSTANT CASE.•...•••..• : . . . . . . . . . • • . . . . . . ' ' ' ••.... 4! Supreme Court has seemingly adjudged it to be the appropriate time to
V. ANALYSIS •.•. · • . · · · · · • · · · · • · · · • · · • · • · · · · · • · ' · . ' ·. ' 43 render a decision which could set a precedent for the admissibility ofDNA
A. DNA: An Overview if the Fingerprinting Process evidence.
B. Potential Applications if DNA Evidence
C. •Umitations II. FACTS OF THE CASE
D. Ramifications if the Court's Ruling
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VI. CoNcLusioN ..•. ,:. .., .•.•• • · · · • • · · • • • • · · · · • · · • · • · · · · 5 People v. Val/lifo' involved a rape incident wherein the conviction of the
accused Gerrico Vallejo was obtained by the prosecution using DNA
evidence gathered from the victim's body. On the day of the crime, the
I. INTRODUCTION victim, Daisy Diolola, a nine-year old girl went to the house of her tutor,
Thus, in 110 small measure do we appredate Doctor Z~ig:sacceptance of our . the defendant's sister, for her lessons. An hour later, the victim returned
invitation for him 'to share,not only his knowledge <!flife se~ences: ~ut h:s expt;"ences home, accompanied by the defendant in order to get a book for her lessons.
as well, in initiating judges to the~~~ marvels of saence that Will mev~tably mvade From the defendant's house, the victim proceeded to the house of her
their courtrooms. neighbor· to watch television. The defendant then arrived, whispered
- Hon. Chi.ifjustice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. 1 something to the victim and together they left heading towards the compuerta.
Article I) § x{b) of the International Covenant on Economic, Soc~al a~d That was the last time the victim was seen alive.
Cultural Rights states recognizes "the right of everyone ... {b) To enJ.OY : e The defendant was afterwards seen by some witnesses looking pale,
benefits of scientific progress and its applications .... " 2 O~e of ~ese scientific uneasy and troubled, wearing clothes which were wet. The next day, ,s:he
breakthroughs wJ:-Jch have garnered SO much attentJon lS the several body of the victim was found tied to an aroma tree at the part o.f the river
near the compuerta. An autopsy on the victim revealed that she was raped and
* •04 J.D., cand., Ateneo de Manila University School of taw. Editor, Ateneo Law then manually strangled to death. When the defendant was invited by the
journal. policemen for questioning, he exer.uted an extra-judicial confession
admitting to the crime saying that he was· under the influence of drugs. A
Cite as 48 ATENEO L.J. 32 (2003). complaint was then filed against him for rape with homicide.
. During the trial, the prosecution presented a number of witnesses. Some
I. Cells, Genes, DNA Take Center Stage, i SUPREME CoURT BENCHMARK 3 of them testified that the victim was last seen in the company of the
(November 2000).
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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, G.A. Res. J. See KIMBERLY LoNSWAY, DNA EVIDENC:l AND IssUES 2 (1998).
.
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A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR S1•pp. No. r6 at 49, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 4· GR 144656, May 9, 2002.
993 U.N.T.S. 3, entered int11jorce]an. J, 1976.