Failon negative for powder burns - The Filipino Rambler


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Failon negative for powder burns

Police said Thursday that ABS-CBN news anchor Ted Failon Etong tested negative for gunpowder burns although the result is "not conclusive" on whether he may have been involved in his wife's shooting incident in their residence on Wednesday.

“Ted Failon’s [paraffin test] yielded a negative result, but that’s not conclusive. We still have to conduct a thorough investigation… He is under our custody,” Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales, Metro Manila police chief, told reporters at Camp Karingal in Quezon City.

Rosales said there have been cases where suspects tested negative for gunpowder burn residue, but in the end, police were able to prove the suspect’s guilt.

He cited “wind factor” and “time lapsed” as factors why the tests were inconclusive, and added that a suspect can allegedly wash off the gunpowder residue before a paraffin test is administered.

Failon brought his wife to the hospital past 11 a.m. Wednesday. Rosales said the hospital informed the police about the wife’s situation two hours later.

Rosales said they have allowed Failon to be with his wife, Trinidad Arteche Etong, at the New Era General Hospital out of “humanitarian considerations,” but clarified that the news anchor is officially under police custody for further investigation.

He said Failon’s statement, which he executed during his eight-hour stay at Camp Karingal, is not enough to prove his innocence.

“His statement is not yet enough. We are keeping him in custody because he is being considered as one of the suspects,” he said, adding that everybody present inside Failon’s Tierra Pura house in Quezon City at the time when his wife was found are considered suspects.As of posting, Failon was with his wife, who is currently under observation at the hospital’s intensive care unit, together with his daughter Kaye.

Public Attorneys Office chief Persida Acosta fetched Failon from Camp Karingal and brought him to the hospital early Thursday.

Rosales said a police team had been dispatched to the hospital to secure the news anchor, who will be immediately brought back to the police headquarters for further investigation.


Rosales said police investigators could not still believe Failon’s statement that his wife committed suicide.
He said the statements executed by the other members of Failon’s household could not be used as corroborative evidence to the news anchor’s claims.
“He claimed Mrs. Etong committed suicide, but nobody can’t prove that,” he added.

Sorry letter

Rosales said police have also asked for assistance from a handwriting expert to determine if the supposed “sorry” letter of Mrs. Failon to the news anchor is authentic.

He said the letter is one of the most important pieces of evidence in the investigation.He said Failon was the one who informed the police about the letter, but initially claimed he did not know where the letter was.

“He said he could not remember, tapos bigla sabi niya ‘ito,’” Rosales said.
Failon claimed he found the letter Tuesday night.

The letter said:

"Papa, I'm so sorry, gustong-gusto ko pang magsabi sa iyo ng totoo pero hindi ko po alam kung papaano ko uumpisahan. Sobrang takot na takot po ako. Umalis po muna ako kasi hindi ko po kaya at nahihiya po ako sa iyong humarap. Sana po mapatawad mo ako, Papa. Sorry sorry Papa, -- Mama”

Attempted suicide?

In an interview over radio dzMM, Failon’s daughter Kaye confirmed that the handwriting in the letter was her mother’s.She said accusations that her father shot her mother were “unfair.”

Kaye said she believed the gunshot wound in her mother's head was "self-inflicted" and that she had "tried to commit suicide." Kaye said her mother always uses the word "po" when speaking with members of the family.

In another interview, Carlota Morbos, who has been Failon’s house helper for 12 years, also absolved the news anchor from the allegations.She said it was her and Failon who discovered Mrs. Failon inside the bathroom of Kaye's bedroom.

“Tulala po. Iyak na kami ni Kuya (Failon). Natulala siya, nataranta. Hindi nga niya alam ang gagawin niya (We were shocked. He was shocked and panicked. He did not know what to do),” Morbos said.

Police earlier said they want to establish the reason why the gun allegedly used by Failon's wife was taken from the “crime scene.”

Investigators were also investigating why the house helpers cleaned the blood from the bathroom where Mrs. Failon was discovered.

Pacifico Apacible, helper and a relative of Failon's wife, said he was the one who took the gun and hid it back to the master bedroom's "dresser."

Apacible said he and Frida, one of Failon's house helpers, were the ones who cleaned the blood at Kaye's bathroom and the trail of blood on the house's stairs and floor."Ginawa namin dahil ayaw namin makita ito ng bunsong anak ni Ted at Trina na si Karishma," he said in his sworn statement.

Karishma is Failon's youngest daughter. She is 12 years old.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

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