The death of Ted Failon’s wife, PNP cruelty and the continuing media spectacle

Trina Etong, wife of popular broadcaster and former congressman Ted Failon, died last night from the gunshot wound on her head. Her body has been brought to Arlington funeral homes.

Up to now, we have yet to get some sense of the incident, no thanks to outrageous developments from the side of the Philippine National Police units handling the case. Okay, the crime scene has been cleaned up — Failon and his household help should be made to answer for it — but that is no excuse for cops to go ballistic or opt for cruelty in a vain attempt to cover up the the obvious lack of forward movement in the official investigation.

My friends tonight are so revolted by the PNP’s cruel way of “inviting” Trina’s relatives for the inquest proceedings. I share their anger and grave disappointment that the officers of the law had to act this way. The PNP should not wonder why Filipinos distrust them cops so much. This is only the latest in a long string of acts of police brutality, cruelty and abuse that are embedded in our minds. (This is perhaps one of the reasons why many Filipinos love the CSI programs on free TV and cable. We pine for a competent, thinking police force capable of solving crime. We are sick and tired of the bumbling cops faithfully portrayed in the movies — corrupt, pot-bellied or arrives at the crime scene only after the assailants have fled. We can only dream now as we watch those CSI programs and crime and suspense channels on cable.)

I am honestly disappointed at how ABS-CBN handled the Failon incident since the other day. True, the network appealed for respect to the Failon family’s privacy but I was surprised that the network was all over the Failon residence, having an exclusive interview with Failon and having exclusive access to Trina’s room at the New Era hospital. Was that call for privacy nothing more than an announcement of an impending series of scoops for ABS-CBN.

Unfortunately for ABS-CBN, the Failon incident is no wedding, Papal visit or some other event that may be given an “exclusive” mark to it without stepping on ethical and legal questions. Being a crime scene, the Failon residence should not have been cordoned off to keep the other media networks away. Besides, the incident has left so many unanswered questions and many more are forthcoming, that thoughtful but comprehensive coverage may be most warranted at this time.

Those orphaned by Trina’s death and all Filipinos deserve to know the truth. We are already shocked by the incident and we do not wish to be shocked further by cruel and incompetent police actions and by media spectacles that trivialize the loss of a life. Even as the police must spare no effort to ferret out the truth, our law enforcers must also allow the affected family members and the nation to grieve.

11 Comments

  1. pakshet101

    Correct, we need to know the truth. But it’s expected, with the way the “truth” is being presented to the public nowadays, we need to discern which is which especially with the ongoing spectacle — one “newspaper” magnified the story of TF’s wife’s death with Gagonzales’ comments…

    By the way, will be linking this entry with my blog as it hit the nail right in its head.

  2. Digital Manila

    Same sentiments here – “…PNP’s cruel way of “inviting” Trina’s relatives for the inquest proceedings. I share their anger…that the officers of the law had to act this way.”

  3. aajao

    i really can’t understand why our police behaves like this everytime. not an isolated case. i believe they’re far from being professionals with the way they handle things.

  4. minnie advincula

    i am also appalled by the incompetence of media, as usual, in reporting about this case. A reporter of a rival network, ok, that’s GMA, had pronounced Trina dead from Day One. She was still then fighting for her life at the hospital and this reporter kept on repeating in his report that she was found dead in the bathroom. And the banner of another daily said that police has ruled out suicide the morning after the incident. Who were they quoting? And did you listen to the reporters’ questions during the presscon by the QC police? The police and the media deserve each other on this.

  5. Jim

    re ABS-CBNs ‘exclusive coverage’ yan ang tinatawag na exploitation. who knows baka set-up din lang ang pagka-kidnap kay Ces–PR to the max.

  6. Paul

    BUYAWA yan ABS CBN. Ginawa ba naman exclusive ang lamay ni
    Trina Etong.

    Kawawa si Trina kahit patay na . . . pinagkwakwatahan pa rin.

  7. Pulis ako

    Sana po tanungin muna ninyo kung ano ang nangyari sa loob
    ng ospital.

    Ang ipinakita lang po ng ABS CBN ay ang footage sa labas.

    Maawa naman po kayong amin mga maliliit ng pulis.

    Ang ABS CBN po ay kayang kayang ibahin ang tunay na nangyari..
    Kayang kaya po nilang patumbahin and isa tao, kumpanya o kaya isang presidente.

    Mag isip isip po kayo.

  8. Jason Bruce

    “We are already shocked by the incident and we do not wish to be shocked further by cruel and incompetent police actions and by media spectacles that trivialize the loss of a life. Even as the police must spare no effort to ferret out the truth, our law enforcers must also allow the affected family members and the nation to grieve.”

    I agree with your final words. Any type of human death deserves somekind of respect and dignity. I just quoted you on my blog.

    Thanks Tony!

  9. tonyo

    Thanks, Jason Bruce. Most people here still can’t understand what actually happened.

    By the way, its Tonyo Cruz, not Tonyo O. Cruz.

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