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PEOPLE V UMANITO

GR 172607
October 26, 2007

Facts:
AAA, then below 18 years of age, was accosted by
Umanito. He dragged her into the Home Economics
Building of Daramuangan Elementary School and
undressed her while holding a knife against her. He
set her down on a bench, put down the knife, and
had sex with her. He dressed up and threatened to
kill her if she reported the incident.
Six months later, AAA s mother noticed the
prominence on her stomach, and it was then that she
divulged to her mother the alleged rape. Her mother
brought her to the police station.
5 years later, Umanito was caught. He pleaded not
guilty.
RTC rendered judgment against Umanito and
sentenced
him
to
suffer reclusion
perpetua.
Umanito s appeal was transferred to the CA for
intermediate review, and CA affirmed.
Umanito seeks acquittal on reasonable doubt, with
the belated filing of the case and AAA s questionable
credibility as grounds, given that there were several
inconsistencies in her assertions. (nature of their
relationship, who took off her clothes, when he met
appellant, where the kissing happened)

Issue:
Whether or not the prosecution has successfully met
the level of proof needed to find the appellant guilty
of the crime of rape
Ruling:

No. Given the slew of assertions and counterassertions, the fact that AAA bore a child as a result
of the purported rape may provide the definitive key
to the absolution of Umanito.
With the advance in genetics and the availability of
new technology, it can now be determined with
reasonable certainty whether appellant is the father
of AAAs child.
o If it can be conclusively determined that
Umanito did not sire the child, this may cast a
shadow of reasonable doubt and allow his
acquittal on this basis.
AAA and her child are directed to submit themselves
to DNA testing under the aegis of the New Rule on
DNA Evidence (AM No. 06-11-5-SC), which took effect
on 15 Oct 2007 (a few days before promulgation of
this case).
DNA print/identification technology is now recognized
as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a
crime, or to absolve one erroneously accused, where
biological evidence is available. The groundwork for
acknowledging the strong weight of DNA testing was
first laid out in Tijing v. CA . Herrera v. Alba discussed
DNA analysis as evidence and traced the
development
of
its
admissibility
in
our
jurisdiction. Tecson v. COMELEC said that in case
proof of filiation or paternity would be unlikely to
establish, DNA testing could be resorted to.
The determination of whether or not Umanito is the
father (through DNA testing) is material to the fair
and correct adjudication of his appeal. Under Sec. 4
of AM No. 06-11-5-SC, the courts are authorized,
after due hearing and notice, motu proprio to order a
DNA testing. However, since SC is not a trier of facts,
it would be more appropriate that the case be
remanded to RTC for reception of evidence.
The hearing should be confined to ascertaining the
feasibility of DNA testing with due regard to the
standards set. RTC should order the DNA testing if it

finds it to be feasible in this case. RTC shall


determine the institution to undertake the testing,
and the parties are free to manifest their comments
on the choice. After the DNA analysis is obtained, it
shall be incumbent upon the parties who wish to
avail of the same to offer the results in accordance
with the rules of evidence, which shall be assessed
by RTC in keeping with Sections 7 (Assessment of

probative value of DNA evidence) and 8 (Reliability of


DNA testing methodology). RTC is also enjoined to
observe confidentiality and preservation of DNA
evidence.
To facilitate the execution of this resolution, although
the parties are primarily bound to bear the expenses
for DNA testing, such costs may be advanced by SC if
needed.