Dismissal of Navy personnel in death of Pestaño affirmed
The Ombudsman has affirmed the dismissal from the military service of 10 former and active Navy officers and men for grave misconduct in connection with the death of Ensign Philip Andrew Pestaño on board the BRP Bacolod City in 1995.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the respondents and affirmed a joint order of Nov. 22 that mandated their dismissal from the service based on the complaint filed by Pestaño’s parents, Felipe and Evelyn Pestaño, for the alleged murder of their son.
Ordered dismissed were Naval Capt. Ricardo Ordoñez, Cdr. Reynaldo Lopez, HM2 Welmenio Aquino, LCdr. Luidegar Casis, LCdr. Alfrederick Alba, MR2 Sandy Miranda, LCdr. Joselito Colico, LCdr. Ruben Roque, Petty Officer 1st Class Carlito Amoroso and Petty Officer 2nd Class Mil Leonor Igcasan.
In the order approved last Oct. 16, the Ombudsman maintained that its order of dismissal of the respondents was a valid exercise of its disciplinary powers as provided for in the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of 1989.
The affirmation came after the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division dismissed on Tuesday the murder case filed by the Ombudsman against the 10 respondents for lack of jurisdiction.
In a 13-page decision, the Third Division said it did not have jurisdiction over low-ranking military officers and dismissed the case “without prejudice to the filing of the same case in the proper court.”
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