Facts, truths in Pestaño case Tulfo disregarded
When I read Ramon Tulfo’s article, “Aid in humiliation” (Metro, 6/12/14), I was filled with anger. Not because he gave his opinion, which is his right, but because I felt he has done a grave injustice to the people.
In his article, Tulfo clearly disregards several important facts, several important truths, that would change the public’s view of the Pestaño case and, more importantly, of Phillip, a victim of the Navy and now a victim of Tulfo.
How much more should the dead suffer?
As Tulfo notes, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales did overturn the earlier June 15, 2009 Joint Resolution and found Phillip’s death to be the result of a murder. Her decision, 16 years after the crime was committed, was based on newly discovered evidence and on a more detailed appreciation of the facts at hand.
Tulfo paints Ombudsman Morales’ act as unethical, and yet her decision in administratively ordering the discharge from service of all those implicated has been unanimously upheld on appeal by the Court of Appeals’ 9th Division.
Another claim that Tulfo spouts is that based on the evidence found by the National Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Investigation and Detection unit of the Western Police District of Manila and Dr. Raquel Fortun, a private forensics expert, the case of Phillip Pestaño should be closed and considered solved as a case of suicide.
However, Tulfo fails to mention that the presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 55, Manila affirmed the finding of Ombudsman Morales that probable cause exists for the crime of murder, not suicide.
Tulfo likewise fails to mention that a panel of three medico-legal experts, a seven-man Armed Forces ad hoc committee, the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, together with the Senate Committee on Defense and Security, foreign forensic and handwriting experts, and even the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations and solicitors general, all reached the same conclusion—Phillip Pestaño was murdered. The United Nations said: “Despite initial findings, (Phillip’s death) was a violent one, resulting from a homicide.”
I don’t know where Tulfo gets his “case files,” but clearly they are anything but complete and his sources are as unreliable as his conclusions.
father of Phillip Pestaño
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