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Credibility

By: Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate

What can be better than a DNA test that is 99.9% accurate? Nothing. The accuracy of DNA test is one thing and the credibility of the one who conducted the test is another.

The issue on result of the DNA test conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory is not really on the accuracy of the result but on the “credibility” of the laboratory.

It is sad that the credibility of the PNP Crime Laboratory is being questioned or doubted now.

The question or doubt actually stems the suspicion that the conduct of the DNA test was done to protect the policemen who were allegedly responsible for the killing of the 14-year old Reynaldo de Guzman and 19-year old Carl Angelo Arnaiz.

What bolsters this question or doubt is the position of De Guzman’s parents that the body found in Nueva Ecija – the one the DNA test results revealed as not that of the slain teenager – was no one else but their child. How likely will parents be wrong in identifying their child?

What makes things worse for the PNP Crime Laboratory is the theory that the specimens used in the DNA test were actually tainted or contaminated. This theory is bad for the agency because it goes into the core issue of credibility. How can the PNP Crime Laboratory allow the use of contaminated specimens for the DNA test that it conducted?

The issue against the PNP Crime Laboratory got worse when PNP operatives allegedly attempted to get the body of De Guzman, after the release of the DNA test result, to do more “tests.” Why are more tests needed when it maintains that the result of the DNA test conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory was 99.9% accurate?

The suspicion that DNA test on De Guzman was done in ways that “protect” the accused policemen was strengthened by the statement of the witness presented by the Public Attorneys Office. The witness claimed that he saw the killing of Arnaiz and a young guy who was inside the police vehicle. One can surmise that if that young guy was De Guzman, his killing was triggered by the fact that he witnessed the killing of Arnaiz. The statement of said witness also strengthened the claim that policemen were responsible for the killings of both Arnaiz and De Guzman.

What is important for PNP leadership to do now is to dispel doubts about the credibility of the PNP Crime Laboratory.

Its failure will result in the bigger problem of credibility crisis of the whole PNP as a public institution.

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