5 cops in Failon case appeal to court
Dismiss arbitrary detention raps filed by anchor, judge urgedBy Julie M. Aurelio |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Five policemen who took part in the arrest of broadcaster Ted Failon’s sister-in-law and four house helpers in 2009 have asked a Quezon City court to drop the arbitrary detention charges filed against them for lack of probable cause.
The five-page pleading was filed last week by Senior Supt. Franklin Moises Mabanag, Supt. Gerardo Ratuita, Chief Inspectors Cherrylou Donato and Enrico Figueroa and Insp. Roberto Razon.
At the time they made the arrests, the policemen were assigned at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) of the Quezon City Police District.
Mabanag was the CIDU chief while Ratuita was his deputy.
Failon’s filing of the charges—five counts each of arbitrary detention and five counts each of violating the suspects’ rights under the Miranda Doctrine—came after the policemen arrested his sister-in-law Pamela Arteche-Trinchera and house helpers Pacifico Apacible, Carlota Morbos, Wilfredo Bolicer and Glen Polan.
Earlier, the police accused Trinchera and company of obstruction of justice in connection with the suicide of Failon’s wife, Trinidad Etong, on April 15, 2009.
According to the police, Failon failed to report that his wife had shot herself in the head in their house in Quezon City. On the other hand, Trinchera and the house helpers were accused of cleaning up the bathroom where the body of Failon’s wife was found.
In their motion for judicial determination of probable cause, the five police officials said that they did not commit arbitrary detention nor did they fail to inform the suspects of their rights under the Miranda Doctrine.
They also argued that Trinchera and company were inquested following their arrest and were even assisted by more than five lawyers.