2by unseen psychological forces – simply had far too many loose ends to invite readycredence as no more than self-inflicted.For one, Ensign Pestaño’s personal and professional circumstances at the time of hisdeath simply do not fit the bill of someone who would take his own life. As a navalofficer – a graduate of no less than the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), thecountry’s top military school – he excelled in his professional undertakings he was aboutto marry his lovely fiancée; it simply did not make any senseAs more and more details of his death were brought to light, investigations carried out bythe WPD, NBI and the CIDG started looking like a massive cover-up more than slipshodand haphazard efforts at finding the truth; His family thus embarked on a long andcontinuing quest for justice for their fallen son, now running into its 14
year.Why his death is not the result of a self-inflicted shot to the head and who are responsiblefor his death are the subject of the discussion in the following sections of this
More importantly, this
presents new pieces of evidence recentlyuncovered that supports the filing of charges against the Respondents.
ANIFESTATION ON THE
NTECEDENTS OF THE CASE
After eight joint committee hearings over a one-year period, the SenateCommittees on Justice and Human Rights and on National Defense and Securityissued on January 29,1998 the joint Committee Report No.900 on the mysteriousdeath of Ensign Phillip Andrew A. Pestaño on September 27, 1995 onboard the
BRP Bacolod City
Committee Report No. 900, among other things, concluded that the junior navyofficer “did not kill himself aboard [the ship]
but that there was “a deliberateattempt to make it appear that [he] killed himself in his stateroom”
and that “theattempt to make it appear that Pestaño killed himself inside his stateroom was sodeliberate and elaborate that one person could not have accomplished it byhimself.”
A veritable cast of the country’s top private forensic medicine experts,namely, Dr. Ernesto Gimenez, Dr. Dario Gajardo, Dr.Antonio Rebosa and Dr. BuCastro,provided expert testimony debunking the suicide theory. They werecomplemented by American experts Mr. Wayne Hill Sr., a crime scenereconstruction pioneer and Mr. Ron Rice, a handwriting analysis specialist,Filipino ballistics experts Dean Artemio Panganiban, Jr. and Prof. ErnulfoGrimares, and questioned documents expert, Col.Pedro Elvas (ret.), former headof what is now the PNP’s Crime Laboratory Service.3.
Committee Report No. 900 made the following relevant recommendations to theOffice of the Ombudsman:…iii. An independent investigation be conducted by theOmbudsman on (a) the legality of loading more than 14,000 boardfeet aboard BRP Bacolod City in September 1995; and (b) the
Senate Joint Committee Report No. 900, Committees on Justice and Human Rights, and on NationalDefense and Security, January 29, 1998 at 48. [hereinafter, Committee Report No. 900]. Its conclusionsand recommendations were referenced in the Joint Complaint Affidavit dated Oct. 27, 2005 as
.For the convenience of the Honorable Office, a complete copy of the same Report is attached, albeit, asstated, the full contents of the same Report had been previously referred to it by the Senate.