Dela Rosa, who filed Senate Bill (SB) 1577 or the Forensic DNA Database Act, said DNA technology has been scientifically proven to be an invaluable tool in the identification of a person and has been used in establishing the identity and prosecution of criminals.
“It can be used to identify criminals with scientific accuracy when biological evidence exists,” said Dela Rosa, a retired 6-star police general and former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Apart from identifying criminals, Dela Rosa said DNA analysis could also be used to clear suspects and exonerate persons mistakenly accused or convicted of crime.
He said having a DNA database has other uses such as establishing paternity and other family relationships and the identification of disaster victims and missing persons.
Dela Rosa said the DNA database, which shall be known as the Philippine National Forensic DNA Database, shall be under the PNP.
He said the DNA shall contain profiles of persons classified under the following indices: crime scene suspects, arrested persons, convicted offenders, detainee, law enforcement and military personnel, elimination persons, missing persons, unidentified human remains and voluntary persons.
Under the bill, the PNP Crime Laboratory shall be responsible for the general conduct, administration and management of the DNA database and shall ensure that DNA profiles and information are securely stored and remain confidential.
The bill also seeks to create a national DNA database scientific advisory committee which shall develop a DNA testing database quality assurance standard for DNA testing and data basing, including standards for testing the proficiency of forensic laboratories and forensic analysts conducting forensic DNA analysis.
Under the bill, any person found guilty of tampering, abetting or attempting to tamper DNA records and samples face imprisonment of 12 years and one day and a fine of not less than P600,000. Imprisonment of eight years and one day and a fine of not lower than P500,000 shall be slapped on any person for improper disclosure of DNA samples and records.