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PARAFFIN TEST results of accused-appellants cannot exculpate them, particularly

Tomas, Sr., from the crime.


PP. vs. TOMAS SR.
Ilisan vs. People
The appellants herein were charged with murder for the death of
Estrella Casco. It appears that Estrella, together with her mother Among the attendees in a baptismal celebration in Ricky Silva’s
and two caretakers, was traversing the road towards her house on residence on Feb. 3 2002 were Ilisan and Joey Gaton. While they
July 19, 2006 when appellants suddenly came out from the side of were having a drinking spree, an altercation arose between the
the road. Thereupon, without saying anything, Tomas, Sr. drew a groups of Ilisan and Gaton. lisan then shot Gaton with a .45 caliber
gun and shot Estrella. The autopsy conducted by Dr. Saturnino pistol at the abdomen, causing the latter’s instantaneous death.
Ferrer a day after the shooting showed four gunshot wounds, one of Notably, Leonard Jabonillo, forensic chemist of the Central Police
them perforating the heart of Estrella. On the same day, the three District Crime Lab, testified that Ilisan tested negative for
accused were arrested. They were then subjected to paraffin tests gunpowder residue when paraffin tests were conducted a day after
shortly after the policemen took them in custody and were found the incident.
negative for gunpowder burns.
RTC nonetheless convicted Ilisan of homicide. Ilisan then argued
The RTC found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Anent amongst others that the negative results of the paraffin residue test
the negative paraffin tests on appellants, the RTC held that a conducted on him strongly indicate his innocence.
negative paraffin test conducted on an accused does not ipso facto
prove said accused is innocent, for a negative paraffin test result is ISSUE: WON the results of paraffin test in the case at bar may be
disregarded.
not conclusive proof that a person has not fired a gun. CA affirmed.

Issues: WON it is erroneous to disregard the results of the paraffin HELD: YES.
test conducted in this case. Paraffin tests in general have been rendered inconclusive by the SC.
HELD: NO. It can only establish the presence or absence of nitrates on the
hand; still, the test alone cannot determine whether the source of
Since gunpowder nitrates stay for 72 hours in the hands of a person the nitrates was the discharge of a firearm.
who fired a handgun, a timely paraffin test, if positive, will definitely
prove that a person had fired a handgun within that time frame. A Conversely, the absence of gunpowder nitrates, the day after the
negative result, however, does not merit conclusive proof that a incident, does not conclusively establish that he did not fire a gun;
person had not fired a handgun.Thus, the negative paraffin test
neither are the negative results yielded by the paraffin test a proof paraffin tests, in general, are inconclusive; the negative findings in
of innocence. paraffin tests do not conclusively show that a person did not
discharge a firearm.
[G.R. NO. 176527 : October 9, 2009]
In sum, the positive, clear and categorical testimonies of the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SAMSON prosecution witnesses deserve full merit in both probative weight
VILLASAN y BANATI, Accused-Appellant. and credibility over the negative results of the paraffin test
Samson Villasan was charged with the crime of murder for shooting conducted on the appellant.
Jacinto Bayron, causing the latter’s instantaneous death. The
prosecution presented various witnesses to testify as to how the
incident transpired. It is worthy to note that P/Sr. Insp. Salinas
testified that he conducted a paraffin test on the appellant at the
PNP Regional Crime Laboratory on June 2, 2000 to determine the
presence of gunpowder nitrates. The appellant tested negative. On
cross examination, however, P/Sr. Insp. Salinas explained that the
absence of gunpowder nitrates was not conclusive proof that
person did not fire a gun. According to him, a person could remove
traces gunpowder nitrates by washing his hands. Villasan
nonetheless claims that his identity as the assailant was not proven
with certainty as no trace of gunpowder nitrates was found in his
hand. The RTC eventually found Villasan guilty beyond reasonable
doubt. CA affirmed.

ISSUE: WON Villasan is correct in concluding that the prosecution’s


case must fail as his identity as the assailant was not proven with
certainty.

While the appellant tested negative for gunpowder nitrates,


Forensic Chemist Salinas testified that a paraffin test is not
conclusive proof that one has not fired a gun. This view is fully in
accord with past findings and observations of this Court that