Thursday, June 17, 2010

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the death of Phillip Pestano

I opened my inbox this morning to find a message with a link to the copy of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the death of Phillip Pestano.

To give you a background on Phillip Pestano, i will post the introduction from

On September 27, 1995 , BRP BACOLOD CITY , or LC550, a Philippine Navy ship, was on it’s way from Sangley, Cavite to the Philippines Navy Headquarters ( HPN) at Roxas Boulevard , Manila.

With a ship complement of 8 Officers and 42 Enlisted men, LC550 was considered to be the Flag Ship of the Philippine Navy. As the ship was about to dock at the HPN Pier at around 8:10 A.M., one of the ship’s key officers, ENS PHILLIP A PESTANO, PN, their Deck

and Cargo Officer, was not at his designated station.

His fellow officer, Ens Joselito Colico ( Mess Officer) was tasked by the ship’s EX-O Lt Ruben Roque, to call on Ens Pestaño. There was no answer. With the use of a master key, Ens Colico opened the door of the cabin. There, he found Ens Pestaño, lying motionless, with his body perpendicular to the bed, both his feet on the ground, and both arms outstretched. 24 inches away from his body, located between his two feet was a .45 caliber gun. On the table was a torn lined paper, previously folded, and what appeared to be suicide note.

At 9:43 A.M., police investigators from the WPD, led by SPO Dennis Javier, arrived at the scene to conduct its investigation. They reported a case of suicide.

This website invites you to get to know Phillip and his tragic fate. It will walk you through the crime scene, how the different agencies of the Philippine government rendered their findings and reported the case as suicide; how local and international experts concluded that it was in fact, murder.

It will show you how, in 1997, the Philippine Senate deliberated, and thru the pro bono legal representation of then Ex Senator, Senator Aquilino Pimentel (re-elected anew in 2002 ), concluded that it was indeed murder.

It directed the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a deeper investigation on Ens Pestaño’s murder case.And finally, it will show you that the Office of the Ombudsman, thru the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ), despite conclusive findings that Ens Phillip Pestaño’s death was a murder case, resolved it closed and terminated in 2000, asserting that “the conduct of further investigation in order to find out the identity of the perpetrator and his accomplices, if any, will only be a waste of time considering that the physical evidence has already been tampered with not to mention the lapse of time.”

To date, one can find in the annals and official records of the Philippine Navy, that one Ens. Phillip Andrew A. Pestaño, SN 0-11193, committed suicide on September 27,1995.

We know it was not a suicide. You know it was not a suicide.

We invite you to look at the facts of the case. Revisit the crime scene. Recount the events.

Then, let us speak up, and break the culture of silence.


It has been all of 15 years and the family of Phillip Pestano is eager for justice to be meted out to the people responsible for his death. Numerous investigations have been done, including a Senate investigation led by then Senator Aquilino Pimentel, to no avail.

It is not just the issue of finding out who are the people behind the brutal killing and brining them to the light of justice, , but it is also an issue of corruption in the Philippine Navy. It is the belief of many that Phillip may have stumbled upon illegal activities by the Philippine Navy. It may be that the PN is using its ships for more than just routine patrols.

I hope that the incoming administration of Noynoy Aquino will finally be able to create a competent commission to investigate and finally put the people behind Phillip's death to justice. It will be a feather on the cap of the incoming Aquino administration if the case of Phillip will finally be given closure, and the family and friends of Phillip Pestano shall not rest until justice is served.

For those who wish to read the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Report, click here.

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