10 Navy Officers Charged for Navy Officer Pestaño Murder

10:41pm — January 11, 2012

Phillip Andrew Azarcon PestañoIn 2009, Pinoyworld was one of the first blog to post an article based by a Jesuit Catholic Priest James B. Reuter originaly titled,”Justice at 3 A.M.” I posted it under the title “Remembering the Heroism of Philip Pestaño

After nearly a decade, Ten Navy Officers are charged with the nonbailable crime of murder were:

  • Capt. Ricardo Ordoñez
  • Cmdr. Reynaldo Lopez
  • Hospital Man 2 Welmenio Aquino
  • Lt. Cmdr. Luidegar Casis
  • Lt. Cmdr. Alfrederick Alba
  • Machinery Repairman 2 Sandy Miranda
  • Lt. Cmdr. Joselito Colico
  • Lt. Cmdr. Ruben Roque
  • PO1 Carlito Amoroso
  • O2 Leonor Igcasan

According to an article by Inquirer.net:

The 24-year-old Pestaño was found dead in his cabin aboard the BRP Bacolod City on September 27, 1995, shortly before the ship was to dock at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila. He had bullet wounds in the head.

A supposed suicide note was found on his body, but his parents, Felipe and Evelyn, refused to believe that their son killed himself and filed charges against the Navy officials.

In 2009, the anti-graft body, then headed by Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, dismissed the complaint, saying the evidence was circumstantial.

The Pestaños filed a motion for reconsideration, which was granted in an order approved by Gutierrez’s successor, Conchita Carpio Morales, on Jan. 10.

The alleged inaction on the Pestaño case was one of the grounds raised against Gutierrez during her impeachment in 2011.

In the latest order, Ombudsman Morales said the circumstances surrounding the young officer’s death belied the earlier finding that he had committed suicide. His own wounds did not appear self-inflicted, she said.

Morales said Pestaño had two contusions on the right temple and a cut in the left ear, which, it added could not have been caused by the bullet fired into his head but a hard, blunt object.

The bullet’s entry wound was oval in shape and did not bear any tattooing, smudging or burn mark as what would have happened during a close-contact fire, Morales said.

“It is farfetched for a person who commits suicide to shoot himself on the head at a distance,” she noted.

Citing findings of forensic experts, the Ombudsman said the handwriting on the suicide note was different from that of Pestaño.

More news about the case can be viewed here: Ombudsman files murder raps vs 10 Navy officials for Pestaño murder.

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