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RE: Motion for DNA taking

DNA testing is a valid means of determining paternity.

Agustin v. CA, 460 SCRA 315

In what cases is DNA testing used? paternity and filiation, recognition and support,
identification purposes i.e., rape

DNA testing and the right against self-incrimination

People v. Yatar, 428 SCRA 504, May 19, 2004

Upheld the constitutionality of compulsory DNA testing and rejected the contention that
it would infringe on the constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion, but against testimonial compulsion. The
right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the lips of
the accused an admission of guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is
not an incrimination but as part of object evidence.

How may an order for a DNA testing be obtained?

Sec. 4, RDE

A person who has a legal interest in the litigation may file an application for DNA testing
order before the appropriate court, at any time.

The order for DNA testing shall not, however, be issued as a matter of course and from the mere
fact that the person requesting for the testing has a legal interest in the litigation. For the order to
be issued, there must be a further showing that:

(a) A biological sample exists that has relevance to the case;


(b) The biological sample (i) was not previously subjected to the DNA testing requested;
or (ii) if it was previously subjected to DNA testing, the results may require
confirmation for good reasons;
(c) The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique;
(d) The DNA testing has a scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant
to the proper resolution of the case; and (emphasis added)
(e) The existence of other factors, if any which the court may consider as potentially
affecting the accuracy and integrity of the DNA testing.
When is evidence relevant?

Evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence
or non-existence.

Sec. 4, Rule 128 - Evidence must have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its
existence or non-existence. Evidence on collateral matters shall not be allowed, except when it
tends in any reasonable degree to establish the probability or improbability of the fact in issue.

Test for determining the relevancy of evidence

Riano, Evidence, p.21:

[R]elevance is a matter of relationship between the evidence and the fact in issue. The
determination of relevance is, thus, a matter of inference and not of law. The test is therefore,
one of logic, common sense, and experience.

People v. Galleno, 291 SCRA 761:

There is no precise and universal test of relevancy provided by law. However, the
determination of whether particular evidence is relevant rests largely at the discretion of
the court, which must be exercised according to the teachings of logic and everyday
experience.

Q: What is the purpose of the DNA test in this case? What does it prove?

- Paternity and filiation

Q: Is it necessary to resort to DNA testing in this case?

- No, the issue is not paternity; the issue is whether or not Boy Lee committed
psychological violence against his wife.

Q: How is DNA testing of the accused and the children relevant to the resolution of
the criminal case for psychological violence in violation of R.A. 9262?

My Opinion/theory: Paternity is not the issue; it is not the ultimate fact to be proved.

In a prosecution for violation of R.A. 9262, proof of paternity is not relevant.


The proposed DNA testing is irrelevant to the issue of whether or not Juanito Lee
committed an act or acts in violation of R.A. 9262, specifically psychological abuse.

The concept of relevance deals with the rational relationship between the evidence and
the fact to be proved.

In this case, the paternity and filiation between Juanito Lee and Christopher Dave Jorda
and Ivanhoe Jorda is not the focal issue. The fact in issue in this case is the commission
or non-comission of Juanito Lee of act or acts that would constitute psychological
violence under R.A. 9262.

It is the husbands infidelity that may cause mental or emotional suffering for his wife,
which may be considered psychological violence under RA 9262. The biological
relationship between the husband and the children of the alleged mistress is not the main
issue nor is it relevant to the determination of the commission of psychological violence.

(The wife does not know whether her husband fathered offspring with another woman.
Therefore, the fact of her husband being the father of the Jorda children could not have caused
her psychological distress.)

The present suit does not call for the determination of filiation of Christopher Dave Jorda
and Ivanhoe Jorda.

RA 9262

Violence against women and their children

(a) "Violence against women and their children" refers to any act or a series of acts committed by
any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person
has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her
child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely
to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of
such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.xxx

C. "Psychological violence" refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional
suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage to
property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and mental infidelity. It includes
causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a member of
the family to which the victim belongs, or to witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive
injury to pets or to unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of
common children.

R.A. 9262 is a landmark legislation that defines and criminalizes acts of violence against women and
their children (VAWC) perpetrated by women's intimate partners, i.e, husband; former husband; or
any person who has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom the woman has a common
child. (Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013)

DNA Testing and the right to Privacy

U.S. Case: In appropriate cases directing DNA test to be conducted, if it is required for proper
adjudication of the case, it cannot be said to be an intrusion into individual privacy.

Can a DNA Testing Order compel any person, even persons not impleaded in the case, to
undergo DNA test?

Sec. 5, RDE

If the court finds that the requirements in Sec. 4 have been complied with, the court shall:

a. Order, where appropriate, that biological samples be taken from any person or crime
scene evidence; (emphasis added) xxx

A court order for DNA testing is a search

Lucas v. Lucas, G.R. No. 190710, June 6, 2011

A court order for DNA testing should be considered a search which must be preceded by a
finding of probable cause in order to be valid. Xxxx

Thus, during the hearing on the motion for DNA testing, the petitioner must present prima facie
evidence or establish a reasonable possibility of paternity.