Agustin v. CA – GR 162571, 15 June 2005

Facts:
Private Respondent filed a complaint for support for her son against the petitioner. Respondent claim that her son was the biological child of the petitioner. That the petitioner impregnated her. Petitioner contended that he was not the father of respondent’s son as she has multiple secret lovers. That their sexual relationship ended long before the birth of her child. The RTC ordered that the parties undergo DNA testing to identify the child’s filiation. Petitioner contested the said order and contended that it violates his constitutional right against self-incrimination and right to privacy. The RTC denied his motion to dismissed. Petitioner elevated the case to the CA which it in toto affirmed the decision of the RTC. Hence the elevation of this case to the SC.

Issue:
whether DNA paternity testing can be ordered in a proceeding for support without violating petitioner’s constitutional right to privacy and right against self-incrimination.

Held:
No, Under Philippine law, evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar, the DNA evidence obtained through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis, and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular biology.
Significantly, we upheld the constitutionality of compulsory DNA testing and the admissibility of the results thereof as evidence. In that case, DNA samples from semen recovered from a rape victim’s vagina were used to positively identify the accused Joel “Kawit” Yatar as the rapist. Yatar claimed that the compulsory extraction of his blood sample for DNA testing, as well as the testing itself, violated his right against self-incrimination, as embodied in both Sections 12 and 17 of Article III of the Constitution. We addressed this as follows:
The contention is untenable. 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.

One thought on “Agustin v. CA – GR 162571, 15 June 2005

  1. Pingback: EVIDENCE

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