PART 10 
     
'
the mysterious............. computer diskette!'

           In The 23rd July 1997 issue of the Sun Star Daily, it was reported that the “Joint Regional mobile group (RMG) 7 and Carcar police operatives yesterday  (July 22, 1997) combed the cliffs of Sitio Tan-awan, Barangay Guadalupe, Carcar after residents complained of a foul smell in the area.” 

         It further reported that the “police found no body, except for a pair of old black rubber shoes which they brought along for examination.” No mention of any diskette found was ever reported.
 
     Also there were earlier newspaper reports mentioning of a fragmentation grenade and a handcuff found together with the earlier discovery of an unidentified dead female body, on July 18, 1997. 

          Mysteriously, a year after, a certain SPO1 Antonio Sabala, Jr. testified in open court on September 21, 1998 that he also “found” a computer diskette at the same time as when he found the old “unisex black converse rubber shoes”. 

          Surprisingly, four days after the dead body was found, and after so many curious towns people and passing motorist stopping by the top of the ravine, no one noticed the diskette just laying right there under the railings near the cliff, except the witness, off course. 

     One might be able to believe about the rubber shoes not being discovered earlier, since it was found at the garbage site near the cliff, but the diskette?

     What’s more surprising still, after the heavy rains during those four days it was just lying there. And a lot of handling, from the witness to the Carcar police station, to the CIG in Cebu City, where it lay there for weeks.

      Then finally to the PNP crime laboratory, where it lay again there for another fifteen (15) days to complete fingerprinting, yet they have managed to preserve and still develop and lifted a “full” fingerprint from the flat, prominent, smooth metallic part of the diskette. 

     It took the police four (4) days short of three (3) months from the time they “found” the diskette to the time they actually lifted a fingerprint from it. 

       

     The Bailen report  “cast doubt on whether the print was indeed developed and lifted initially from the diskette or lifted from another source, and remnants of which were merely transferred to this part of the diskette. 

     It is also logical to expect that if the diskette was actually held between the fingers of the accused, at least one of the other four fingers should have left marks on the other side (of the metallic plate), which should have been developed and lifted.”

        
      In conclusion, in the same report submitted by the famous U.P. Associate Professor in Anthropology Jerome B. Bailen and Independent Fingerprint Expert P/Lt. Col. Reynaldo  D. Marcelo (Ret.) suggests that “1) The characteristics of the alleged thumbprint developed and lifted from the diskette are more similar to that of the rolled on fingerprint of the same finger rather than the plain (or dabbed/touch on) print of the analogous.  

2) As the rolled on fingerprint is typically not the kind of print one leaves while casually touching an object, but must be definitely printed (i.e. rolled on) on a plain surface, the other conclusion would be that the rolled on fingerprint allegedly lifted  and developed from the diskette must have been produced by one who consciously rolled a finger on that flat surface.  

      And 3) It is unlikely that then person claimed by the PNP fingerprint examiner said to be the source of that thumbprint could have left that latent print by simply touching the diskette.” 

         As an experiment, try to hold the diskette in such a way that only your thumbprint will touch one side of the plate without any of the other fingers touching the rear portion.

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