Failon: ‘I don’t have to defend myself’

 By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 00:36:00 04/16/2009

Filed Under: Crime, Media, Celebrities

MANILA, Philippines – Television anchor and radio broadcaster Ted Failon refused to respond to allegations that he shot his wife, Trinidad Arteche-Etong, who is now fighting for her life.

“I don’t have to defend myself with that allegation,” Failon (born Mario Teodoro Failon Etong) said in an interview aired on ABS-CBN.

Failon, who was wearing a black shirt and a red cap, narrated to news anchor Ces Drilon the circumstances surrounding the shooting of his wife, who remains confined in the intensive care unit of the New Era General Hospital.

Failon revealed that he and his wife had a serious discussion on Tuesday reportedly about the family’s finances.

“I talked to her ng mahinahon [calmly]. Kung ano mang problema yan, kung pera man yan, kikitain ko [Whatever that problem is, if it’s money, I can earn that]. Just be honest kung ano [whatever it is],” a teary-eyed Failon said.

“So sabi nya, ‘Papa sana maintindihan mo ako.’ Sabi ko, ‘Mommy, galing tayo sa wala eh [So she said, ‘Papa, I hope you understand me.’ I said, ‘Mommy we came from nothing],’” he added, before breaking into tears.

But he said his discussion with his wife apparently ended well.

On Wednesday morning, Failon went onboard his regular radio show but admitted that he initially wanted to skip work because of the problem with his wife.

“I was onboard kaninang umaga [this morning] so we were supposed to see each other para sa pag-aayos ng mga [to fix] family documents. Now supposed to be magkikita kami sa isang lugar [we were supposed to see each other somewhere]…I checked with the maid, nasa kwarto, nasa banyo [she was in the room, in the bathroom]….Ayaw ko ng pumasok [I didn’t want to go to work], last night napuyat ako sa pagwoworry sa kanya [I stayed up late worrying about her],” he said.

“Ang hirap magpaka-jolly [It’s difficult to be jolly]…to be the usual Ted. So I have to call her. Sabi niya sakin [She told me], ‘Papa, wala akong mukhang ihaharap sayo [I am so embarassed to face you].’ So meron na akong naisip [So I thought of soemthing]. Aalis na ako dito [I will leave this place]. When I arrived here, yung susi, pag bukas namin [the key which we used to open]…when I opened it, yun [there] she was lying in a pool of blood,” Failon said.

Superintendent Franklin Mabanag, chief of the Quezon City Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU), said that Failon left his radio show early to return to their home in Tierra Pura Subdivision in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

When Failon returned, he saw his wife lying on the bathroom floor.

Mabanag noted that there were scratch marks on the face of Failon. But the journalist denied this.

“Talk to my in-laws. Hindi na ako magdedepensa sa mga ganyan [I do not have to defend myself on allegations like these],” he said.