WEBB’S BELATED REQUEST FOR DNA TEST OF HIS SEMEN AND THOSE FOUND IN CARMELA’S
BODY SHOULD INSTEAD OF HELPING HIM,
WORK AGAINST HIM.
If the prosecution in the Vizconde massacre case did not submit the semen found in Carmela’s body for DNA test , it must be for the following reasons. First, it was useless without a specimen of Webb’s semen to be similarly tested with it and Webb cannot be compelled by any judicial process to give a specimen of his semen for that purpose. He is protected by the Bill of Rights of our 1987 Constitution and complimentarily by Section 1, (e), Rule 115 of our Revised Rules of Court, against self incrimination. To force him to give a specimen of his semen would be tantamount to forcing him to testify against or incriminate himself in the event that it matches with those found in Carmela’s body. Second, considering that the submission of both semen for DNA test or examination is more of a defense evidence than a prosecution evidence, I believe that it should have been Webb, et. al., who through their battery of good and famous lawyers who should have pressed for it at the right time and opportunity and not when the trial of the case was over and a decision has been rendered and already for automatic review by the Honorable Supreme Court.
If the semen found in Carmela’s body was at all offered in evidence without DNA test, it must be only to prove that a rape was also committed beside the killings.
Webb, et. al., but Webb in particular should have offered his semen and pressed for a DNA test thereof alongside with those from Carmela’s body. He should have done this during the trial of the case and not after. More specifically, at that stage of the trial, for the presentation of their defense evidence.
In my trail of the newspaper account of said case and its trial in my reading also of the background thereof as found by the Supreme Court in its decision, I do not recall that Webb, et., al., ever ask or press for said DNA test during the trial. Hence, Webb’s silence and failure to offer a specimen of his semen which is just within his control for DNA test, should under the rules of court be taken against him, it being equivalent to suppression of evidence that the rules of court presumes to be unfavorable to him, if produced.
The result of a DNA test of his semen and those from Carmela’s body may work either way. It should absolve him and his co-accused if it does not match with those from Carmela’s body. On the other hand, it should confirm their guilt and conviction if both semen matches.
It is not amiss to state that in a long line of decisions of the Supreme Court itself, constituting already as the law (jurisprudence) on the matter, the Supreme Court are not to pass upon the findings of fact of the trial court since it (SC) is not a trier of facts. According to those decisions and the rules of court, it is lower court and in this case, the Regional Trial Court and sometimes the Court of Appeals should it decide to conduct its own trial, are the only trier of facts. As such, in this case the Court of Appeals upon being tasked by the Supreme Court, passed upon and reviewed the findings of facts of the trial court and it agreed with the lower court and upheld its findings and judgment convicting Webb, et. al., of the crime for which they were charged.
To repeat, the opportunity of Webb, et. al., to ask for said DNA test or examination has long been gone and their right to invoke it has been foreclosed by their inaction. He cannot now, ask for it when there were already sufficient time and opportunity to steal or even destroy the semen from Carmela’s body for whatever accidental or intentional reasons, material or otherwise . That is a great probability that no one can discount nor dispute.
Webb’s semen being just as aforesaid within himself, and could very easily produce by him and give a specimen to the court for said DNA test cannot qualify as a newly discovered evidence to warrant a new trial or the reopening of the case for that purpose. My presumption is that they belatedly asked for said test because they knew that the semen from Carmela’s body has already been stolen from or destroyed in whomsoever it was in custody or wheresoever it was deposited.
Having slept on his right, Webb and his lawyers cannot anymore demand for such test and the consequent introduction of the would be result thereof. Consequently, the Supreme Court should not have considered the non-submission of the aforesaid semen found in Carmela’s body for DNA test against the prosecution and in favor of the innocence of Webb, et. al. Rather, their conviction should have been upheld.
Unfortunately, for Mr. Vizconde as private complainant and the People of the Philippines as public complainant, it was the contrary which happened. The Supreme Court despite the above reasons in support of the conviction of all the accused, reversed the findings of fact of both courts and acquitted those accused including the accessory whose conviction is not dependent upon the conviction of the principals accused in said case..
Sto Cristo, City of San Jose del
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