The Case of the Maguindanao Massacre

Posted in Ongoing Case with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2009 by knightone0

Only Satan's Disciples Can Do This

DISTINCTION

Considered by Reporters Without Boarders, an international press freedom organization that tracks violent deaths of journalists worldwide, as the bloodiest day in the history of journalism around the world.

 

FACTS

Incident. On 23 November 2009 (Monday) in Ampatuan town, about a hundred armed men blocked a convoy, led by Genalyn Mangudadatu, wife of Buluan town Vice Mayor Ismael Mangudadatu, while on their way to Shariff Aguak town to file Ismael’s certificate of candidacy for the gubernatorial post, opposite reigning mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr, in the 2010 polls. The attackers abducted the Mangudadatu women and their companions.

The bloodbath occurred on a remote hill several kilometers from the highway, with some women sexually molested before they were shot and others beheaded. The many civilians were then buried, in a mass grave, including the vehicles.

The members of the convoy numbered between 40 and 46 people. From these people, only four surved. Over 30 journalists from various parts of South Cotabato province joined the convoy. They based mostly in General Santos City and Koronadal.

Twenty-four people were confirmed killed (body recovered). Other reports pegged the casualty at 36.

Background. The journalists in the convoy intended to cover the event, considered a major news in the province as the Ampatuan family has not been challenged politically in the province. The vice mayor sent his female relatives in the belief that his political rivals would not hurt them in Shariff Aguak, renowned Ampatuan turf, and considering the Islamic tradition to respect women.

Victims. Civilians (at least 12)–Genalyn Tiamzon-Mangudadatu, two Mangungudatu sisters, and two lawyers (National Union of People’s Lawyers). Journalists (13) [National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Reporters Sans Frontieres reported 26 journalists died]–Alejandro Reblando (Manila Bulletin), Henry Araneta (DZRH), Bart Maravilla (Bombo Radyo Koronadal), Nap Salaysay (DZRO), Ian Subang (Pilipino Star Ngayon and Dadiangas Times) and freelance reporters Humberto Mumay, Ranie Razon, Noel Decena, John Caniba, Joel Parcon, Marife Montano, Art Belia and Jun Legarta. Unaccounted for–Joy Duhay (UNTV), Victor Nunez (UNTV), Macario Ariola (UNTV), Jimmy Cabillo (UNTV), Leah Dalmacio (Mindanao Focus), Gina de la Cruz (Today), Marites Cablitas (Today), Andy Teodoro (Mindanao Inquirer), Bienvenido Lagarte (Sierra News), Neneng Montano (Saksi), and Rey Merescon (MindaNews).

Andal Ampatuan Sr., Maguindanao’s present governor, has ruled the province with the backing of a private army since 2001.

Suspects. Mastermind: (1) Andal Ampatuan Jr.: Datu Unsay town mayor | He turned himself, before noon on 26 November 2009, to the Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Affairs, Jesus Dureza, (at Shariff Aguak) after PNP tagged him as suspect. Justice Secretary (in General Santos City) received him and flew him for inquest proceedings at Camp Crame. (2) Andal Ampatuan Sr: the Ampatuan patriarch, governor of Maguindanao; arrested by the military Task Force Alpha on Dec 5 | Survivors overheard him mentioned by Ampatuan Jr as the one who ordered the massacre. (3) Zaldy Ampatuan: the governor of ARMM | Survivors also overheard him mentioned by Ampatuan Jr as the one who also ordered the massacre. Operational: (1) Local PNP officers: [Relieved] Provincial director Abusana Maguid, provincial deputy director Chief Inspector Sukarno Adil Dicay, SPO2 Bakal, and a certail Inspector Diongon. Dicay, Bakal and Diongon were identified by eyewitnesses to have joined the attack. (2) Civilian Volunteers’ Organization (CVO): Esmael Canapia and Takpan Dilon, so far reported | ballistic tests proved their firearms used in the massacre. (3) Citizens’ Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU): No member specifically identified yet. (4) Private Militia: PNP arrested 20 miliatiamen on Dec 6 hiding inside the warehouse of Ampatuan Jr.

 INVESTIGATORS

The Palace instructed the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group), the Commission on Human Rights, and the National Bureau of Investigation to jointly investigate the massacre.

INVESTIGATION

Vice Mayor Mangudadatu recalled his last phone conversation with Genalyn that Mayor Ampatuan was among the men who waylaid them. Genalyn said Ampatuan Jr slapped her shortly before his men killed the victims. DOE undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan, second cousin of Mayor Ampatuan, said the mayor maintained his innocence in the killings.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner believed that the killings were jointly done by the Maguindanao PNP and police auxiliary forces (particularly the Civilian Volunteers’ Organization, which is under the PNP). No CAFGU (Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit) members has been involved in the incident. 

The four survivors overheard Andal Ampatuan Jr, who led the armed men, saying that he acted on the orders of his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr., and his older brother, Zaldy Ampatuan (governor of the ARMM). It was Ampatuan Jr who approached the convoy and ordered Genalyn out of the vehicle.

A group of journalists from Cotabato City who were supposed to cover the event decided to head straight to Shariff Aguak that same morening, but were stopped by amilitary checkpoint before they could reach their destination because of what happened earlier that morning.

Raids on the houses of four members of teh Ampatuan family (on Dec 3, Thursday) yielded a cache of high-powered firearms and ammunition enough to arm a battalion of security forces, including a 60mm mortar, which (according to PNP Director General Jesus Versoza) is only issued to special police and military units, and civilians are not allowed to possess. More guns are found buried, and the military and PNP SOCO had to use a bulldozer to recovered those buried deep, indicating the same equipments were used to bury the armory.

A forensic expert and a weapons expert who work on the massacre site flew back to Manila after noticing unidentified men shadowing them in the hotel they stayed in Cotabato City.

 AFTERMATH

Deactivation of CAFGU: The Armed Forces of the Philippines deactivated the Cafgu in Ampatuan town.

Martial rule declared in the province of Maguindanao: The Office of the President placed Maguindanao under the state of martial law effective Friday night (Dec 4) in order to effect arrest on the accused. Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, AFP Eastern Mindanao commander, takes over as the provincial military governor.

ANALYSIS

Motive and eyewitnesses. The eyewitness clearly placed Andal Ampatuan Jr at the scene of the crime to have led the killings. The size of the people involved in the actual killings and the diggings, pegged at around 100 persons, cannot be easily gathered and manned by local PNP officers. Only the mayor has the clout to make happen the movement of this huge number of people for the purpose of killing people. And the motive is also there–competition for the gubernatorial slot in 2010 election. If the Ampatuans have historically held the area in dominion practically without competition for many years, that tells something on how far they can control the competition. And losing the province leadership next year would be a blow to their political ego to be let passed. The motive of Andal Sr. and Zaldy to order the hit can be reflected from their intent to dominate the province politically.

Order to Kill. The order to kill the people in the convoy may not originate from the younger Andal Jr because of his rank in such a clearly authoritarian family. His move to governorship may just be a family decision if Andal Sr. can no longer run for the same position next year. While Andal Jr. may have personally led the heinous act, it will be unlike that he will involve himself directly if he was the mastermind. Most likely he was only “ordered” to do it, and in a no questions asked manner. The final authority to perform the act may come from either Andal Sr. or Zaldy. If Zaldy has grown to be more bloodthirsty in the way he do politics, Andal Sr. may have a weak role in the order or even may have opposed it. But if Zaldy have not gone that far, the stronger order will only come from the elder Andal.

NOTABLE DEVELOPMENTS

CAFGU disbandment. Brawner categorically said that no CAFGU was involved in the incident. But why was it disbanded? And not instead the CVO?

Number-crunching arrests: The PNP made 20 arrests of  supposedly “miliamen” hiding inside the warehouse of Ampatuan Jr. As of Sunday, Dec 6, at least 47 men have been rounded up into the police provincial headquarters. Even their families and relatives were allowed to accompany them inside the camp. Technically these are not arrests with prosecution in mind. One of these people, Warib Jusay (18), was riding a tricycle on his way to the public market when “arrested” at a checkpoint on Saturday. An apparent side effect of the imposition of martial rule in the province. These innocent people also will provide an impression of voluminous arrests (operational results) without actually reflecting the exact arrests of criminals involved in the massacre.

 

SOURCES

GMA News, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer.net

Murder of PO2 Jamaron Jandag

Posted in Ongoing Case, Possible Media Neglect with tags , , , on April 25, 2009 by knightone0

FACTS

Victim: Police Officer 2 Jamaron Jandag, an awardee of the Philippine National Police Medal of Valor on 29 January 2007 for fighting off at least 100 members of the Moro Islamic Liberatin Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf bandits who attacked the municipal hall and the police station of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte in May 2003.

Declared Suspects: [POLICEMEN] PO2 Asmad Badlis, PO1 Sukarno Adjod, PO2 Borjan Jawali, PO1 Said Wahid, and PO1 Roderick Magsano, all assigned at the Southern Police District. [CIVILIANS] Nur-Asia Ama (as mastermind; not included in the list of those charged), Burha Abdullah (as hitman), Gamar “Belong” Janihim (later charged as the mastermind) and his wife (Anorah), Aljon “Junjun” Pawai Sala, Haron “Pahambong” Gacao, Gaini “Gani” Wadja, Asman “Abuel” Amilasan, Salim Janihim, Ramili Wahid, Jahim Payao, Hadji Mobin Payao and Majid Adbulhaman (alias “Shariff Larudin”).

Investigating Agency: PNP Criminial Investigation and Detection Group–National Capital Region, headed by Senior Superintendent Isagani Nerez.

Scene of Crime: On 16 March 2009, the body of the victim, already in advanced state of decomposition, was found near a garbage dump in Rodriguez, Rizal. 

INVESTIGATION

The plan to murder Sandag was hatched in Labuan, Zamboanga City. But it was PO2 Asmad Badlis and PO1 Sukarno Adjod who planned to stage the killing.

On 25 February 2009, the victim was taken hostage in the Taguig Plaza Apartelle inside 502 room (PNP suspected to have been) rented by Anorah Janihim. All five policemen was seen inside this room.

Ama was seen giving the reward money to Abdulla.

Background. Sandag, then 13 years-old and policeman in Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, apparently killed the relatives and kin of the suspects. He was charged of the case but allowed to be a “living-out detainee” at the Siocon Police Station. The plan to kill Sandag began that time.

Police Theory: The main motive on the killing the victim is the existing riduh (family war) between the Sandag and the Payao family. The Payao family vowed to kill all male heirs of the Sandag clan.

OUTCOME

Case Still Open. Five policemen and 13 civilians were charged but all of them are still at large, as of 25 Apr 2009.

SOURCES

Felipe, Cecile Suerte: “18 charged with hero cop’s murder,” Philstar News Service, Apr 25, 2009

RMA: “Five cops, 13 others charged,” Balita-dot-ph, Apr 25, 2009

Gunshot Residue Analysis

Posted in Forensic Science with tags , , , , on April 19, 2009 by knightone0

gunshot1

DESCRIPTION

Gunshot residue analysis (GRA) is a chemical technique under firearm forensics that attempts to identify heavy metals particles that contaminates the skin of subjects believed to occur only when the subject has fired a gun recently.

Gunshot residue is expelled as tiny particles from the barrel of gun when it is fired. The residue contains heavy metals barium, lead, and antimony.

ASTM International, developer of standards for forensic laboratories, has developed a guide for performing the technique that was approved in the United States in 2001. This states that gunshot residue particles are made only of lead, barium and antimony, but antimony and barium alone are “unique” to gunshot residue. The particles are identified using a scanning electron microscope and their composition analysed using energy-dispersive spectrometry.

Crime laboratory reports however provide a “most probably” result putting into question the reliability of this analysis in concluding that if such heavy metals were detected that the subject indeed fired the gun.

SPECIFIC TESTS

Paraffin Test. The paraffin test is one of the crudest of GRA methods that detects for nitrate residues. It uses liquified paraffin wax interlaced with gauze sheets applied on the hand skin to open up skin pores and collect chemicals inside the pores. When the wax cools, it forms a cast on which lab technicians apply either diphenylamine or diphenylbenzidine. Nitrates will cause blue dots to appear on the casts corresponding to the hand supposedly used to shoot. Reporting: The presence location of the blue dots recorded in drawings that technicians are required to make. Use in Courts: The report is treated as evidence that the suspect had fired a gun. In court, the administering technician testifies on the examination and presents the drawings with the interpretations made. Sources of False Negative Results: The gunpowder burns can be removed from the skin pores using warm vinegar. High temperature opens up the pores and forces out the gunpowder.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES

However, studies as recent as 2005 have shown that a non-shooter can become contaminated by these heavy metals without firing a gun. Lubor Fojtásek and Tomás Kmjec at the Institute of Criminalistics in Prague, Czech Republic, fired test shots in a closed room and attempted to recover particles 2 metres away from the shooter. They detected “unique” particles up to 8 minutes after a shot was fired, suggesting that someone entering the scene after a shooting could have more particles on them than a shooter who runs away immediately (Forensic Science International, V153, P132). In fact, someone who entered the crime scene within this period can have more particles on them than the shooter who ran away immediately after the crime.

In a 2000 study, Debra Kowal and Steven Dowell at the Los Angeles county coroner’s department reported that it was also possible to be contaminated by police vehicles. Of 50 samples from the back seats of patrol cars, they found 45 contained particles “consistent” with GSR and four had “highly specific” GSR particles. What’s more, they showed that “highly specific” particles could be transferred from the hands of someone who had fired a gun to someone who had not.

Even worse, it is possible to pick up a so-called “unique” particle from an entirely different source. Industrial tools and fireworks are both capable of producing particles with a similar composition to GSR. And several studies have suggested that car mechanics are particularly at risk of being falsely accused, because some brake linings contain heavy metals and can form GSR-like particles at the temperatures reached during braking. In one recent study, Bruno Cardinetti and colleagues at the Scientific Investigation Unit of the Carabinieri (the Italian police force) in Rome found that composition alone was not enough to tell true GSR particles from particles formed in brake linings (Forensic Science International, vol 143, p 1).

HISTORY

In the 1990s, the courts accepted the presence of either two of these heavy metals from the gunshot residue as evidence of firing the firearm. However, today the courts require that all three metals must be present for gunshot residue be admitted as evidence on court.

History of Paraffin Testing

The validity of the paraffin test first came into question in the United States during the Warren Commission hearings of 1963 while investigating the assassination of late US president John F. Kennedy. FBI expert, Cortlandt Cunningham, testified that a laboratory experiment conducted by the agency determine the test is inconclusive.

In the study 17 men were made to fire five shots of a .38 cal. revolver using one hand only. After each string, both hands were subjected to paraffin testing. Results on eight of the test subjects showed negative or essentially negative results on both hands. This indicates that paraffin tests could not detect nitrates half the time. More surprisingly, three men showed positive results on the idle hand and negative on the firing hand. Four men tested positive on both hands, after having fired only with their right hand.

In the Philippines, paraffin testing has faced much scrutiny as well. Its unreliability as evidence was discussed in the SC’s conviction of Claudio Teehankee Jr on 6 Oct 1995 for the 1991 murder of Maureen Hultman, the killing of Roland John Chapman and the frustrated murder of Jussi Olavi Leino. At the lower court and the Court of Appeals, Teehankee capitalized on the negative paraffin test on him.

However the High Court ruled: “Scientific experts concur in the view that the paraffin test has ‘proved extremely unreliable in use. The only thing that it can definitely establish is the presence or absence of nitrates or nitrites on the hand. It cannot be established from this test alone that the source of the nitrates or nitrites was the discharge of a firearm.”  It added: “We have also recognized several factors which may bring about the absence of gunpowder nitrates on the hands of a gunman, viz: when the assailant washes his hands after firing the gun, wears gloves at the time of the shooting, or if the direction of a strong wind is against the gunman at the time of firing.”

The Teehankee ruling revealed other sources of nitrate/nitrite contaminants such as  firecrackers, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and leguminous plants such as peas, beans, alfalfa, and tobacco.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) forensic chemist Leonora Vallado testified that excessive perspiration or washing of hands with the use of warm water or vinegar may remove gunpowder nitrates on the skin.

Much earlier court decisions proceeded on the same vein such as the People v. Ducay (1993), People v. Hubilo, (1993), People v. Pasiliao (1992), People v. Clamor (1991), People v. Talingdan (1990), and People v. Cajumocan (2004).

The High Court concluded that paraffin test is “of lesser consequence.”

TRENDS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is more cautious in their protocol for GRA–”Because the possibility of secondary transfer exists, at least three unique particles must be detected…in order to report the subject/object/surface ‘as having been in an environment of gunshot primer residue’.” So a person could be named as a potential shooter in Baltimore, but given the benefit of the doubt by the FBI.

In the Philippines, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled paraffin test as inconclusive and cannot be used as the sole basis in determining whether the subject fired the firearm.

SOURCES

Mejia, Robin: “Why we can’t rely on firearm forensics,” New Scientist, 23 Nov 2005

KNR: “SC finds limited value in paraffin tests,” Sun Star Cebu, 19 Apr 2009

The Case of Trinidad Etong

Posted in Suicide with tags , , on April 17, 2009 by knightone0

crime-scene-do-not-enter

FACTS

Victim. Trinidad Arteche Etong, 45, wife of Mario Teodoro Failon Etong, a news anchor of ABS-CBN TV Patrol.

Declared Suspects. Mario Etong (husband), Glenn Ponan (resident driver), Carlota Morbos (housemaid), Wilfreda Bolleser (housemaid), and Pacifico Apacible (houseboy), Pamela Arteche (sister of victim)

Investigating Agencies. Quezon City Police District (QCPD), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

Scene of Crime. Shooting occurred at the victim’s residence on 27 General Aquino Street, Tierra Pura Subdivision, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.  There were traces of blood found at the master’s bedroom, despite Mario initially asking invetigators not to go to the bedroom. These blood traces appeared not to be more than blood traces.

When Mario arrived from work, he went upstairs to check for her wife. He might have not found her in the Master’s bedroom because he went to her daughter Katrina’s room which was locked from the inside. He went down to ask househelp Carlota to get the key to Katrina’s. With the key, he asked Carlota to accompany him in opening the room. They were not able to find the victim inside the room but the rest room was locked from the inside. Mario asked Carlota to get the key for the rest room downstairs.

When they opened the rest room door, the victim was bathed in her own blood.

Police said that Mario friend and businessman Delfin Lee, a major ABS-CBN sponsor who donated houses as prizes, was in the house during the shooting incident. Text messages that circulated alleged that Lee helped Mario carry the dead body of the wounded victim to one of the bathrooms inside the house. But Lee denied his presence there.

Observations from the QCPD include: (1) Mario asked the police not to go to the master bedroom of the house (from statements of chief superintendent Franklin Moises Mabanag). Police said to have found bloodstains in the master bedroom and the bedcovers were already clean at 3 PM QCPD arrival; (2) Point of impact of the bullet got located at the back of the toilet bowl in the bathroom (from statements of deputy CIDU chief Gerardo Ratuita); (3) no signs of blood splattered in the bathroom (from statements of deputy CIDU chief Ratuita).

Earlier, Ratuita explained to reporters that there were no signs of blood having splattered the bathroom walls despite the bullet having entered the left temple and exited the right temple.

He said that the slug was deformed, an indication that it had hit a hard object.

Wound. The bullet wound entered the left temple and exited in the right. Shooting occured at 10:30 AM on 15 April 2009. There is burning at the bullet’s entry point, indicating a close-ranged gunshot.

Gun. The slug recovered was deformed, indicating that it had hit a blunt object after passing through Trinidad’s head. There was no bullet marks on the wall of the bathroom where the victim was found. The bullet’s trajectory was downward. The point of ricochet was near the floor and investigators were puzzled why the point of ricochet was not level with the supposed point of entry of the bullet.

Mabanag said investigators have located the point of ricochet of the bullet behind the toilet bowl near the area where the victim was shot.

INVESTIGATION

At the time of the incident Mario was hosting his daily morning radio program on dzMM and the station has tapes to prove it.

A gardener and a housemaid at a nearby house did not hear a gunshot from Etong’s residence.

The Apaceble and Bolleser cleaned the bathroom where the victim was found while Ponan cleaned the Mitsubishi Pajero (license plate XPE-293) used to bring the victim to the hospital (New Era General Hospital) on their own initiative, not under orders of Mario. Mario, Ponan and Pamela (victim’s sister) brought the victim to the hospital.

Members of the household also claimed the gun (caliber .380 Walther PPK pistol) used in the shooting was found on the right side of the victim when she was discovered slumped inside the bathroom of the couple’s child on the second floor of the house.

Mario surrendered the gun to QCPD. He directly ordered the driver and the housemaids not to talk to the police. He had no scratch on his face nor bruise on his nose (superintendent Franklin Moises Mabanag, chief of CIDG, reported Mario had “scratches on his face and the bruised nose”). 

The suspects tested negative for gunpowder burns and nitrates. But the victim too tested negative.

The victim made a financial investment which failed.

ANALYSIS

Indicators of Suicide

There is no clear motive yet for the husband to perform the crime, even indirectly. Losing that much money did not appear to trouble him; in fact, he appeared nonchalant about it and encourage his wife to let the loss go. He told his wife they could cope with the loss being once poor.

Indicators of Crime

The house personnel cannot still be cleared for lack of motive.  

The negative result for gunpowder burns and nitrates on the victim is an important information to consider if the test used is high reliability. Should suicide happened it would be inevitable that the victim would have tested positive. And since the suspects also tested negative, the results can indicate that someone who knows how to remove gunpowder and nitrate traces on the suspect skin must have done it.

However this is under the assumption that the paraffin test could reliably detect true act of gun firing, or at least pick up residues of gunpowder in samples. If the test is unreliable, then a negative result could not indicate either absence or presence of crime. Cautious law enforcement should have not used a test that is unreliable in the first place because of its potential to introduce so much confusion in understanding other evidences.

Still Neutral Facts

The direct order on house personnel not to talk to the police can be presumed to “when” not in the presence of a lawyer.

The extent of unreliability of the paraffin test determines how far the results on the suspects can be of use. If extremely unreliable, the test was unnecessary and only introduced confusion into the case.

REMARKS

Escape Nonsense. The accusation made by QCPD chief Vimar Barcellano of Mario’s “escape” was inappropriate and would have been avoided if he considered the humane side of the situation–a husband needs to be with his dying wife even if he was one of the suspects. This could have been avoided had Barcellano allowed Mario to go to the hospital accompanied with enough police personnel to secure him.

This QCPD attitude inevitably led to the QCPD blunder on 16 April 2009 when police operatives forcefully arrested the members of the Etong household and the Arteche siblings inside the hospital. DILG secretary and Napolcom chairman Reynaldo Puno and former president Joseph Estrada echoed this disappointment on 20 April 2009. Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Pangilinan voiced their displeasure earlier.

Gag Order. It would be a waste of time to file chargers against Mario on the direct gag order because it is proper that a lawyer needs to be around in the questioning. And it is also folly to proceed with this line of action, and on this time they can use to look for the real culprit if the case is not suicide.

QCPD Blunders. On 20 April 2009, QCPD superintendet Franklin Mabanag (chief of the QCPD-Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit) and his deput Gerardo Ratuita were relieved of their duties pending results of investigation conducted by the National Police Commission over the alleged foreceful arrest of members of the Etong household. 

This happened when QCPD personnel used excessive force in arresting Pamela Arteche and his brother Maximo (both are siblings of the victim) inside New Era General Hospital on 16 April 2009. Four other members of the CIDU have been earlier suspended for their involvement in the arrest. Too much enthusiasm and ignorance can be very dangerous indeed.

The QCPD has filed an obstruction of justice suit against the suspects without apparent review on the reasons why the househelpers did so. The present handling of NBI which provides benefit of the doubt on the househelpers for the cleaning should have been the line of approach that QCPD pursued. “We want to know why was it tampered. Was it intentional or was it done so as not to scare the kid (younger child of the Failons) there as they claimed? We will look into that,” said Arnel Dalumpines, head agent of the task force created to investigate the case.

On 17 April 2009, a report came out that reflects the QCPD attitude towards the case and Mario himself. The police behaviors causing suspicions include: (1) QCPD officers took group pictures and giggled behind Mario, while Mario took the paraffin test; (2) Fact-finding interview of Mario at Camp Karingal took 7 hours beyond the one-houre schedule to finish.

On 5 May 2009, the charges for obstruction of justice was dismissed by the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office because of insufficient evidence.

NBI Takeover. On 20 April 2009, NBI took over the lead in investigating the case. The first move of NBI leadership in allowing Mario to first grieve for his wife’s death, before involving him in the investigation, is a laudable one, and shows great professionalism in the agency. This development occurred at the heel of an ongoing investigation of the QCPD-CIDU blunders.

Indicators of Suicide: There are however indications that support suicide: (1) The money lost was huge and likely the investment was made without Mario knowing it. Thus the written apology letter. (2) The obvious state of mind of the victim before the shooting happened.

Indicators of Crime: But indications has surfaced on possible case of murder or homicide: (1) The victim tested negative in the paraffin test (which is impossible if suicide occurred) unless the body was cleaned thoroughly and effectively before samples were taken out.

UPDATES

NBI Says “It’s Suicide.” On 21 May 2009, NBI concluded its that Trinidad Etong committed suicide.

Rap vs. QCPD. Failon lawyer, Atty. Alfredo Molo, also announced that talks will start on the filing of case for violent arrest of the Failon household members against QCPD. The policemen also insinuated that Failon killed his own wife based on insufficient evidence. Such an embarassing outcome of incompetence.

CONCLUSION

Case Closed: SUICIDE

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.