Garin pushes for creation of death investigation system in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin is proposing the creation of a death investigation system in the country, saying that the case of flight attendant Christine Dacera showed how “weak” the current system is.
According to Garin, the country’s death investigation system needs to “change and adapt,” as she pointed out several cases where there seemed to have “poor coordination” and “poor communication” among authorities.
If a proper death investigation system is in place, Garin said more cases can be resolved faster and accurately.
“This case showed us how weak our system is: statements to the media were made without medico legal results then another statement was made after SOCO has conducted their autopsy; whereas the family is dissatisfied, thus another autopsy was ordered but the body has already been embalmed,” Garin said in a statement.
“Statements should not be given without proper autopsy findings and forensic pathology investigation because it gets confusing — to the investigators, to the media and to our people. Let us not preempt investigations,” the lawmaker added.
Garin said premature statements should not be released especially when there are no evidence yet to back them up.
“It is reckless. It is wrong. Innocent people are wrongly accused and actual perpetrators get away without a scratch, without remorse,” Garin said.
“Nasaan ang sinasabi nating [Where is the saying] ‘innocent until proven guilty?’ — all because we decided to bring the case to the court of public opinion,” she added.
Further, the lawmaker said that “sensitive” cases such as Dacera’s death “should not be taken lightly nor should it be used for publicity,” adding that a platform is needed to combine science and legalities.
Garin said there are only two forensic pathologists in the country—Dr. Cecilia Lim and Dr. Raquel Fortun—who both agree that the country lacks a death investigation system.
“The death investigator doctor should be a formally trained forensic pathologist. Bodies of victims should be brought to laboratories instead of funeral parlors wherein physical evidence are tampered and erased. No proper and conclusive investigation is ever done,” Garin said.
“Mas maagap sana nating naresolba ang kaso ni Christine Dacera kung mayroon tayong tamang sistema ng pagiimbestiga at kung ginagamit natin ang mga eksperto na nandito sa bansa,” she added.
(We could have solved the case of Christine Dacera as early as possible if we have the right system in investigating [these type of cases] and utilizing the [knowledge of our] experts we have here in the country.)