NBI takes over Etong death probe


Posted at Apr 20 2009 12:25 PM | Updated as of Apr 20 2009 08:53 PM

The National Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation of the death of Trinidad Etong, wife of ABS-CBN broadcaster Ted Failon, amid a public outcry over alleged mishandling of the Quezon City Police District on the Etong case.

Secretary Ronaldo Puno of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said he has instructed the QCPD to turn over to the NBI all filings and evidence that have been secured in the case.

"The investigation of the death of the late Trinidad Etong will be turned over the NBI. It will be taken off the hands of the QCPD and transferred today to the NBI," Puno said at a press conference in Camp Crame.

He added that the QCPD will function as " a supportive group of the NBI."

Puno said the National Police Commission will also investigate possible administrative liabilities of QCPD officers over the arrest of Failon, his relatives and staff last week.

"It will be very important to determine if the actions taken by PNP officers were proper, in accordance with provision to existing law," he said. He said investigators will be given 30 days to finish its probe on the QCPD.

Several media outlets dubbed as an "overkill" the arrests of Failon's staff and relatives over the shooting of Failon's wife last Wednesday. Television footage earlier showed police dragging Failon's sister-in-law, Pamela, from Etong's deathbed at the New Era General Hospital in Quezon City last Thursday.

Police said they have not ruled the possibility of foul play in Etong's death despite interviews by Etong's friends and family that she had been contemplating suicide.

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