Parents can seek review of De Guzman DNA test: forensic expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2017 10:53 AM | Updated as of Sep 12 2017 11:24 AM

MANILA - The parents of teenager Reynaldo De Guzman may still seek a review or a separate DNA test on the cadaver found in Nueva Ecija, according to a forensic pathologist.

This, after the Philippine National Police (PNP) came out with DNA test results saying the body recovered was not De Guzman, who went missing with a suspected thief who was later found dead.

Dr. Raquel Fortun, chair of the UP Manila Department of Pathology, said DNA testing is a sophisticated process that usually takes time, sometimes months, depending on several factors.

"'Yung buhay madaling kunan kasi maraming samples. Pero 'yung bangkay 'yung baka mahirapan ka kasi may issues ng degradation at contaminants," she told radio DZMM.

Based on a record from the PNP, the DNA test conducted on the cadaver believed to be De Guzman took only 4 days, from September 7 to September 11.

Lina and Eddie, parents of the 14-year-old, disputed the DNA test, insisting that the body was their son's as they have already identified him through facial recognition and bodily marks.

But Dr. Fortun said the parents of De Guzman should not rely on visual recognition alone because forensic procedures would provide more accurate results in identifying a body.

On the other hand, she said the PNP should be open to the idea of retesting DNA samples from the supposed body of De Guzman, or even allow for a review of the procedures they used.

"Kapag meron kang testing na ginawa, or analysis, dapat open ka for scrutiny. Ang maire-recommend ko ay ipa-review ninyo sa DNA analysis lab, and I would recommend UP Diliman," said Dr. Fortun.

Persida Rueda-Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney's Office, earlier questioned the motive of the PNP's DNA tests, saying De Guzman's parents did not even request for one.

De Guzman went missing with Carl Angelo Arnaiz in Cainta, Rizal on Aug. 17. Arnaiz's remains were found in Caloocan 10 days later. Police accused Arnaiz of robbing a taxi.