Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ted Failon, et al. Part 1

By now, except those living in caves, everyone already know the Ted Failon-Trina Etong saga. So much has been said and done already that by now, I will just be another Johnny come lately. But what the heck, here is my cop opinion.

This whole episode would not have taken these twists and turns had everybody told the truth right at the very start and acted in the normal and expected course of things. From a policeman's standpoint, a lot of things will expectedly raise a lot of questions and awaken your investigator's insticts. Let us analyze these things in chronological order:

Chapter 1. The first report about a shooting victim came to the attention of the police at around lunch time. The report is from the duty guard of New Era Hospital. Hohum, normal day. Shooting victim reports are a normal fare in Quezon City. I would love to see a single tabloid without a news item of somebody dying by gunshot wound in Quezon City. That would be a real collector's item. Hospitals are mandated by law to report such incidents that come to their attention. The normal reaction of the police to this report is to send investigators to investigate the incident. The favorite trauma hospital in Quezon City is East Avenue Medical Center and guards there know of this SOP by heart. Not far behind are Malvar General Hospital and New Era Hospital because they are the nearest hospitals to the stabbing and shooting capital of Quezon City: Payatas dumpsite and Litex in Commonwelath Avenue and its environs.

So the report came in at 1:00 PM. QC police sent investigators and found that the victim is a certain Trinidad Etong and that she was brought to the hospital by a certain Teodoro Etong. Now, all of you who smell something spectacular, raise your hands. Who are these Etongs? Please raise your hand if you know them from Adam and Eve. But for the police, whether it is Etong or Failon or Sanchez, investigators follow the same Bible, to quote QCPD Chief Elmo San Diego.

Step 1 of course is find the nearest kin of the victim. After 2 hours, (yes Victoria, 2 hours!) the police was able to find Pamela Trinchera (sister of victim) together with a lawyer, all the while passing away their time in the canteen while the police looked for them in every nook and cranny of New Era Hospital. They were found because the guards cannot stand anymore the elicitation of the policemen. The Etongs instructed the guards not to reveal their identities. Why?

When the police found Pamela, the obvious first question is "Where and when did the shooting take place?" Before Trincera answered this question, she consulted with the lawyer for almost 15 minutes. So the address of Teodoro Etong was given to the police at past 3:00 PM. Oh my...

Question: Is this normal the normal course of things? Why did the Etongs not report the incident to the police? They had 4 hours to make the call. Why is Pamela hesitant to give the place of the incident to the police? Do you need your lawyer to be with you to report a real suicide? Think...

Chapter 2. So the police went to the house of Teodoro Etong at about 4:00 PM. Lo and behold, they were met by Ted Failon. Huh, you are Teodoro Etong? Hehe. And more importantly, is Ted not supposed to be in the hospital at the side of his wife? At this stage, if you are the investigator, will you be not more suspicious than ever?

Chapter 3. The obvious question to Ted is "Where and when did this happen?" So the police where shown the place. But wait, why is the place cleaned already? The lame excuse of Ted is that, "My children will be traumatized if they will see the blood so I have the place cleaned up." Simplest retort to Ted is, "Don't you know that it is illegal? You are a law graduate, a former congressman, know-it-all broadcaster, and yet you did not know that? And most importantly, hindi ka ba nanonood kay Gus Abelgas sa kanyang programang "S. O. C. O.?" Hmmm...

Even just at this point, one can conclude that something is amiss. An investigator worth his salt should by hyped by the facts.

If it was suicide, it would just be too easy to report it to the police. Ted knows what really happened.

It is not suicide...


  1. No amount of request or threat will stop hospital authorities to notify the police. As SOP, this is being done at the Emergency Department level where the NOI-DOI-TOI-POI* of medico-legal cases is being logged and the hospital in-house security is being notified. The latter in turn alerts the police of the situation.

    - baycas

    *NOI, nature of incident; DOI, date of incident; TOI, time of incident; POI, place of incident written on a special medico-legal case form (this is according to my doctor-friends)

  2. correct. and it was explicitly written by the guard in his logbook entry the directive given to him by teodoro etong "not to report the incident to the police"


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