G.R. No. 171713, 17 December 2007
Minor Diaz filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court for compulsory recognition with prayer for support against Rogelio Ong, she was represented by her mother Jinky. Before the case, Jinky married a certain Hasegawa Katsuo, Japanese. That same year, Jinky met Rogelio, they fell in love. The next year, Rogelio and Jinky cohabited. After four years, Joanna was born, Rogelio recognized Joanna as his, however, that same year, Rogelio abandoned them and stopped giving support to Joanna, he alleged that he is not the father of Joanna, hence this petition. RTC rendered a decision and declared the minor to be the illegitimate child of Ong with Jinky Diaz, and ordering him to support the child until she reaches the age of majority. Ong opposed the CA’s order to directing the Estate and Joanne Rodgin Diaz for DNA analysis for determining the paternity of the minor Joanne.
During the pendency of the case, Rogelion Died. The Estate filed a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals. They contended that a dead person cannot be subject to testing. CA justified that “DNA paternity testing, as current jurisprudence affirms, would be the most reliable and effective method of settling the present paternity dispute.
Whether or not DNA analysis can still be done even if the person is whose DNA is the subject is dead.
Yes.The court held that the death of Rogelio does not ipso facto negate the application of DNA analysis so long as there exist, suitable biological samples of his DNA. The New Rules on DNA Evidence permits the manner of DNA testing by using biological samples–organic material originating from the person’s body, for example, blood, saliva, other body fluids, tissues, hair, bones, even inorganic materials- that is susceptible to DNA testing. In case proof of filiation or paternity would be unlikely to adequately found or would be hard to get, DNA testing, which examines genetic codes found from body cells of the illegitimate child and any physical remains of the long dead parent could be resorted to.
* Case digest by Jason S. Olasiman, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018