The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to make an inventory of material evidence presented to court 19 years ago during the publicized trial of the Vizconde massacre.
The NBI will check if they still have the semen specimen taken from one of the victims, Carmela Visconde, who was raped before she was murdered along with her mother and baby sister in 1991 in Paranaque City.
NBI Deputy Director for Technical Services Reynaldo Esmeralda said the bureau will comply if ever the Supreme Court asks them to provide a DNA sample of specimens under their custody.
The High Tribunal on Friday granted the request of Hubert Webb, one of those convicted in the massacre, to submit for DNA analysis specimen taken from Carmela’s cadaver. Webb wanted to prove that he was not involved in the rape and murder.
Esmeralda said that should the semen samples be available, the NBI will immediately conduct tests to ensure it is not contaminated.
“It has been a long time. So we will see if it is with us. I asked them to check on our evidence, especially in 1991 and 1992,” Esmeralda said.
Admitting DNA evidence only in 2007, the Supreme Court ordered the reopening of the Vizconde case. Appeals for DNA tests were earlier denied by the lower courts.
“It was only in 2007 when the SC issued a ruling to recognize the DNA testing. During the pendency of the case at the lower court and at the CA, the DNA test is relatively new science and at that time the SC has yet to rule whether the Court will accept DNA test for evidence,” Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez told reporters.
The NBI was directed to submit available specimen to the University of the Philippines – Natural Science and Research Institute, Diliman, Quezon City. The bureau was given 15 days to comply with the court’s order.
The lower court sentenced to 40 years in jail Hospicio “Pyke” Fernandez, Michael Gatchalian, Miguel Rodriguez, Antonio “Tony Boy” Lejano and Peter Estrada for the rape and murder of Carmela Vizconde and the killing of her mother, Estrellita, and younger sister, Jennifer.