The online news portal of TV5
A Quezon City court has ordered ballistic tests to be conducted on bullet slugs recovered from cadavers of some 2009 Maguindanao massacre victims that were stored in a wooden table until last year.
The Philippine National Police's Firearms Identification Division was directed to carry out ballistic examinations on the metal fragments and slugs kept in Senior Inspector Felino Brunia's office desk.
Brunia, a medico-legal officer, told Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 221 that he still had slugs in his desk drawers which were recovered from five out of 14 cadavers he autopsied.
“The court finds no merit in the accused's claim that the slugs and fragments are already contaminated due to passage of time and therefore have lost their probative value,” the court's five-page order read.
The PNP-FAID has a month to complete the ballistic examinations tests and submit its findings.
The court said the ballistic test was necessary to check the calibers and other properties of slugs and fragments.
Last year, Brunia testified that he still had slugs and fragments he recovered from some cadavers he autopsied after the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre. The slugs were kept in a wooden table with three drawers.
The court found merit with the prosecution's motion for ballistic tests as it pointed out that there is a presumption of regularity in Brunia's actions.
“There exists a presumption that the preservation of the slugs was observed in regular performance of his duty,” the order read.
The court noted of the testimony of Dr. Tomas Dimaandal, a medico-legal officer, who said lead and copper will not rust even with the passage of time and gunpowder cannot damage these metals.
Members of the Ampatuan clan are among the 196 accused charged for the deaths of 57 people including lawyers, women and journalists on November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province.