PNP-DNA laboratory inaugurated in Cebu City

CEBU CITY—Crime investigation in the Visayas region is expected to become more efficient following the inauguration of the DNA branch of the Police Regional Crime Laboratory in Central Visayas on Monday, October 19.

Police Brig. Gen. Steve Ludan, director of the Police Crime Laboratory, said the DNA facility in Barangay Sudlond, Cebu City was the first in the Visayas.

“This forms part of the strengthening of our mega laboratory. This is the first in the Visayas, we already have one in Davao City and another one at the national headquarters in Camp Crame,” said  Ludan.

Ludan cited the importance of DNA tests in solving crimes.

He cited the 2019 killing of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan in Lapu-Lapu City.

It was through DNA samples that the police were able to identify the suspect behind the gruesome killing.

DNA samples from the Visayas region used to be brought to the national headquarters for examination.

Because DNA samples from Luzon and the Visayas are lumped together at the national headquarters, it takes at least a month to complete the process.

With the new facility, processing of DNA samples from the Visayas may only take one week, Ludan said.

Ludan said the facility will also accommodate paternity testing.

Ludan said the establishing of the DNA branch started in 2014 when then Cebu governor Hilario Davide III donated a lot where the crime laboratory currently sits.

The fund used to put up the DNA branch came from the congressional fund of then senator Alan Peter Cayetano, said Ludan.

Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, chief of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas, admitted that delayed testing of DNA samples has been a perennial problem in the Visayas.

“This is a very welcome development. Our police from Region 6 and Region 8 will benefit from this,” said Ferro.

The DNA facility will be manned by three chemists who underwent extensive training abroad.