25 April 2009
Here is the full text of Ted Failon's sworn statement before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on the night of April 15, 2009.
The sworn statement which was taken by SPO2 Jerry S. Abad consists of four (4) pages. Ted was assisted by Attys. Vince Bayhon, Arnold Perez and Kristine Tiangco all of whom also signed the document.
Please click on the images to enlarge them:
There are critical questions that SPO2 Abad could have asked Ted during that fateful night of April 15. Here are some of them:
1) Was the drawer containing the gun locked?
2) If so, who had the key? Did Trina have a key? Who else may have had access to it?
3) When was the last time Ted checked his gun or handled it?
4) Did Ted order the cleaning of the bathroom?
5) If he did not, who ordered the cleaning of the bathroom? Or, who would normally have the authority to order the cleaning of the bathroom?
SPO2 Abad's failure to ask these questions is unfortunate. At least one of Abad's superiors should have been present during the questioning. Or, Abad should have had at his fingertips a basic questioning handbook or checklist which would have reminded him of the routine questions that would normally be asked in a shooting incident. I guess this is one of those things that should be included in formulating my proposed TRINA Benchmark or whatever else you might want to call it.
More careful police investigation could have spared our nation a lot of unnecessary second-guessing if the answers to these questions had been established right away. As it was, some police authorities were charging Ted Failon with failing to cooperate with the police but it seems here that lapses in police questioning itself contributed to the absence of clarity early on in the investigation.
The apparent lapses on the part of Ted Failon, their househelp and Trina's relatives and for which some of them now face charges of obstruction of justice consist of the cleaning of the bathroom and the Pajero and the failure to make a very early report of the incident to police authorities. To be fair to the police, their job would have been a lot easier if they had an untampered incident scene to work with.
Having said that, I personally believe that it's a suicide based principally on the results of the autopsy by forensic experts Drs. Erwin Erfe and Raquel Fortun, who both give their expert opinion that Trina's wound was self-inflicted. It's difficult to tamper with the laws of physics and no amount of speculating will alter the findings of these seasoned forensic professionals who have established a perfectly level internal beveling of the bullet inside the skull.
There is also the testimony of Trina's close female friends Joy Chua and Jackie Bartolome. Chua, in particular, related how Trina made explicit mention to her of Trina's desire to commit suicide.
My comments here have the benefit of hindsight. Anyone of us can commit all kinds of mistakes when we are under stress. Fault finding is not the objective here. This analysis is provided to help glean the sad lessons that we need to learn and improve on from this painful experience in our nation's history.
RELATED VIDEO UPDATE
26 April 2009 12:49am
We have here a video clip from gmanewstv of Ted Failon's questioning before CIDU, QCPD on April 16, 2009 (based on the video, it's already midnight when they left the Failon residence).