Press Release
December 13, 2006


Its highly possible that Assistant Solicitor General Nestor Ballacillo was murdered because of his persistence in unearthing the alleged irregularities behind the construction of the Ninoy Aquilino International Airport-Terminal 3.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said this is one angle that government probers should focus on amid the frustration of the victims family and the public over the lack of progress in the police investigation of the slaying of Ballacillo, 57, and his son, Benedict Paul, 22, a week ago.

There are theories that say that Asst. Sol. Gen. Ballacillo was killed because he was assigned to track down the anomalous circumstances that seem to shroud the building of the NAIA-Terminal 3, Pimentel said in a privilege speech at the Senate.

Ballacillo was the counsel of the government in the arbitration cases filed by the contractor, Philippine International Air Terminals Company (Piatco) and its foreign partner, Fraport of Germany, with the International Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and with the International Center for the Settlement of Industrial Disputes in Washington D. C.

At the time of his death, he was also representing the government in the Piatco-NAIA 3 case before a Pasay City Regional Trial Court which is in the process of determining the just and fair compensation that the builder of the air terminal should be paid.

Pimentel recalled that the late Judge Henrick Gingoyon of the same Pasay RTC was killed several months ago after ruling in favor of the governments expropriation of the modern aviation terminal.

Pimentel said the government investigators should also look into the possible involvement of drug traffickers in the double murder case.

He said he received information that Asst. Sol. Gen. Ballacillo was assigned to investigate some drug cases involving powerful people in government.

No matter what the motive was in the killings of the asst. solicitor general and his son, we condemn their murders and call on the investigative agencies of government to act swiftly to look for, arrest, prosecute and punish the gunmen and the mastermind or masterminds who were responsible for the utterly shocking crime, he said.

Pimentel called on the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to cooperate and double up their efforts to arrest the perpetrators of the Ballacillo murder.

Ballocillo and his son were waiting for a public transport near their home in Barangay San Antonio, Sucat, Paraaque on their way to the Office of the Solicitor General when they were fired upon by two unidentified gunmen.

One of the gunmen shot the elder Ballacillo on the head and killed him on the spot, blowing up so much of his face and head. The gunman shot him again on the body apparently to finish him off. Seeing his father being shot, Benedict Paul punched the gunman who in turn shot him on the chin.

Before fleeing on board a passing jeepney, the assailants took Asst. Sol-Gens briefcase and other personal effects.

Pimentel said he was told by Ballacillos colleagues in the OSG that before he was killed, he was handling many important cases for the government.

He did his job, they tell me unanimously, with unwavering courage, nationalistic passion and praiseworthy competence. His efforts as an asst. solicitor general had reportedly won billions of pesos for the country, he said.

Pimentel said the problem with Ballacillo was not that he was incompetent as a lawyer of the government. He said Ballacillo had a brilliant legal mind and was in fact the valedictorian of the Arellano University School of Law in 1983.

His problem was that he only had one wife, one family and he led a very simple and modest life. Scrupulously honest, he could not be bribed.

Pimentel also called on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to ensure that other government agencies cooperate with the NBI and PNP in solving the murders.

Otherwise, she will go down in history as a most insensitive president who could not care less what happens to other people as long as she is ensconced safely in her perch in Malacañang .

News Latest News Feed