Pestaño dad dares Tulfo’s admirals | Inquirer Opinion

Pestaño dad dares Tulfo’s admirals

/ 08:30 PM November 05, 2012

THIS LETTER refers to Ramon Tulfo’s Oct. 4 column where he admitted to having dinner with retired Navy admirals, where they expressed their agreement with the sentiments of the majority in the Armed Forces of the Philippines that my son Phillip Pestaño committed suicide and that those linked to his death were all innocent.

Perhaps, it did not occur to Tulfo that to date, or 16 years after my son was murdered, some personalities in the Armed Forces, the Navy in particular, are still in the forefront of whitewashing the case. Those admirals should come out in the open; some of them might have been involved in those anomalous illegal shipments of drugs, arms and logs that Phillip was about to expose that day. It is of course not surprising that they are hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.


Tulfo should check or read Senate Resolution 900 dated Jan. 29, 2008. The Joint Senate Committee report stated, among other things, that the attempt to make it appear that Pestaño killed himself was so deliberate and elaborate that one person could not have accomplished it by himself.

More than 20 pieces of forensic evidence were uncovered showing that Phillip was murdered.


As to Dr. Raquel Fortun’s testimony in the Senate, it was not given credence by the Senate. Besides, she was never our consultant in the first place. She was hired by lawyer Haydee Yorac, then our counsel, without our express authorization.

In any case, it is a matter of record that Fortun’s own admission discredited her as an expert witness for the Philippine Navy. She admitted that at the time she did not have enough experience in examining cases similar to Phillip’s case, despite her much-touted US training. Yet Fortun tried to make it appear that she was a “superwoman forensic expert” knowledgeable in fields like ballistics and handwriting, criminal psychology, questioned documents and even crime reconstruction.

By the way, those brilliant “innocent” officers implicated should stop relying on Fortun’s expertise. Those officers were indicted because probable cause to charge them in court was found against them.

For the information of Tulfo, here is the scorecard of Phillip’s case:

1. Senate Joint Committee (Human Rights and National Defense)—murder

2. Human Rights Commission (Philippines)—murder

3. Philippine Navy—suicide


4. Department of National Defense—silent

5. Office of the Inspector General (AFP)—not suicide

6. Philippine National Police/Western Police District—suicide

7. National Bureau of Investigation—suicide

8. PNP/Criminal Investigation and Detection Group—suicide

9. United Nations Human Rights Commission—murder

10. Office of the Solicitor General—not suicide

11. Ombudsman Aniano Desierto—murder

12. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez—suicide

13. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales—murder

—FELIPE Y. PESTAÑO, [email protected]

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If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Center for Mental Health hotline at 0917-899-USAP (8727); (02) 7-989-USAP; or 1553 (landline to landline, toll-free).

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TAGS: letters, murder, phillip pestaño, Ramon Tulfo, suicide
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