Davao crime lab gets new DNA analyzer


THE Davao Regional Crime Laboratory Office introduced on Thursday, May 11, a new device that can hasten acquisition of DNA profiles from biological evidences collected from the crime scene.

Officials from the National Crime Laboratory joined the test run of genetic analyzer that will interpret DNA content into serial numbers.

In an interview Thursday, Police Chief Inspector Lorna Santos from the National Crime Laboratory said that the machine will be the "end line" of DNA profiling process.

She said that after getting results, they will use Combined DNA Index System (Codis) which will be used to compare the DNA profile with existing profiles, and check if there is a profile match. She added that Codis has a nationwide connectivity.

A similar unit, which costs P98 million, was also purchased and placed in Cebu. Two DNA devices are in Camp Crame.

Santos said the machine's arrival in Davao means more accessibility of results.

"Pag dito locally, malaki impact niyan kasi hindi na kailangan dalhin sa malayo," she said, adding that the crime laboratory in Manila receive 40 to 60 cases per month with varied number of samples per case.

She said that normal DNA profiling will take 30 to 40 days.

Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Sheila Angustia of the National Crime Laboratory explained that the device offers high advantage in preserving chain of custody.

"Ang idea kasi, ang lahat ng capability dapat ng national headquarters meron na ang Visayas and Mindanao. Dito sa Mindanao ang napili ay ang Davao. Advantage sa mga kaso dahil mas preserved ang chain of custody niyan e, kasi hindi mo na kailangan dalhin doon plus yung bilis kasi nangyayari ditto sa region (dati) iipunin nila saka dadalhin doon, kung dito automatic na yung processing, mas mabilis na," she said.

Santos said their laboratory can process 1,000 DNA contents of specimens in a month but not all profiles will be fed to the database since sometimes multiple specimens belong to one person only.

The genetic analyzer that was presented on Thursday will not be immediately used by the crime laboratory instead it will be stored and will only be installed few months after the completion of the construction of the third floor of the Regional Crime Laboratory.


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