Does a paraffin test prove you shot a gun? PNP chief explains
MANILA, Philippines – Don’t doubt the police’s Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO).
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday, January 2, vouched for the integrity of the police’s crime scene investigation team amid concerns from the family of a shooting victim over the accuracy of forensic tests.
Jonalyn Amboan, who died during a botched operation that followed an initial shooting incident, had tested positive for gunpowder residue through a paraffin test conducted by the PNP’s SOCO.
“Kami mismo sa pulis, halimbawa, meron kami gustong paburan, this is a theoretical situation. Tanong ka jan sa SOCO, kahit chief PNP magsabi na negative mo nga, positive mo to… no, hinding hindi niya yan gagawin,” he said.
(Even us in the police force. Let’s say you want to favor someone, this is a theoretical situation. You can ask the SOCO. Even if the PNP chief tells them to say it’s positive or negative… no, they would never do that.)
Amboan was being rushed to the hospital on December 28, after a shooting incident in Mandaluyong City that left her injured. The same vehicle became the subject of a police operation, however, after cops were told by barangay tanod (village watchmen) that suspects were onboard.
Two people, including Amboan, died that night.
All the cops involved, the watchmen, and the victims in the incident all underwent paraffin tests to determine the presence of gunpowder residue.
And while some may assume testing positive in a paraffin tests means the person shot the gun, Dela Rosa clarified that it only means you were in close-range of a firearm upon firing.
He even demonstrated how gunpowder residue may be transferred to a non-shooter, during a press conference at Camp Crame.
Police are currently investigating both the barangay tanods who provided the information and were armed that night and the police involved in the incident. They face both administrative and criminal complaints. – Rappler.com