Expert says PHL needs more labs, forensic science institute to strengthen criminal investigations

THE PHILIPPINES needs more toxicology laboratories as well as a forensic science institute to strengthen criminal investigations, a forensic expert said on Thursday.  

We have a lack of toxicological laboratories, Raquel Barros del Rosario-Fortun, currently one of only two forensic pathologists in the country, said in Filipino in an interview with One News. 

She also said that the country needs a forensic science institute, noting that there were discussions on establishing one in the 1990s but the plan never took off.   

She said the state-owned University of the Philippines would be the best place for such an institution.   

Having more facilities as well as experts in the field, she said, would allow a system of verification on autopsy results, which could be crucial in criminal cases.   

Maybe they might see something else, nothing will be lost, she said.  

Ms. Fortun made the remarks after she was tapped by the Justice department to conduct a second autopsy on the body of the alleged middleman involved in the recent murder of a Manila-based broadcast journalist.   

The first autopsy concluded that the alleged middleman, who was an inmate in the national penitentiary, died of natural causes.   

Ms. Fortun, on the other hand, said her postmortem examination showed there was a history of asphyxia by plastic bag suffocation.Kyanna Angela Bulan