Ma. Teresa Carlson leaps to her death from SJ apartment
- Ricky Lo () - November 24, 2001 - 12:00am
She was sprawled lifeless on the third floor of a 24-story apartment building and her skull was split in two when her maid and a security guard found her broken body.

Former television actress and beauty queen Maria Teresa Carlson-Fariñas was said to have leaped to her death early yesterday morning from her penthouse on the 23rd floor of Platinum 2000 apartment building along Annapolis street in Greenhills, San Juan.

Nobody saw the 38-year-old Carlson jump.

Rochille Flores, 27, Carlson’s maid, told police the former actress, who became popular in the 1970s TV sitcom "Chicks to Chicks," was restless, bolting up the windows and doors because she claimed that some people were out to kill them.

Flores said Carlson was shouting "Rochille, bilisan mo, takbo! Hinahabol nila tayo (Rochille, hurry up! They’re after us)!" and ran out of her room.

Flores said she instinctively grabbed the intercom and called up the building’s security office to ask that a guard be sent up to help her pacify Carlson.

Flores said when she was about to take the elevator, she met a security guard named Martin and that they went to look for Carlson on the rooftop, which is just above the penthouse.

She said they did not find Carlson on the rooftop, but that when they were on their way down, Martin received an order in his two-way radio to check the third floor as residents had heard the loud thud of a falling object.

Flores said she and Martin found Carlson’s lifeless body sprawled on top of an air vent on the third floor and that she was wearing the same clothes she had on when they went to Malacañang earlier in the day.

Flores said hours before her death, she and Carlson went to Malacañang and tried to see President Arroyo so Carlson could show a video tape, which allegedly showed Carlson’s husband, former Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas hurting one of their children, who is a godson of the Chief Executive.

The couple, reportedly estranged, have six children — one girl and five boys.

At Malacañang, Mrs. Arroyo said she had not received the video tapes which Carlson was supposed to have given her before she was found dead.

"I wan’t here last night and I just heard about that," she said. "But I have not received the tape."

A member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), who requested anonymity, confirmed that he had talked with Carlson yesterday and that she tried to hand a video tape for Mrs. Arroyo.

Carlson did not go to the PSG headquarters, where he had referred her, he added.

However, Flores said when their taxi reached Malacañang’s Gate 7, presidential guards barred them and told the driver to turn back.

Carlson then went to Malacañang Park to try to talk with any "responsible official" to relay her "problem" but that nobody listened to her, she added.

Flores said when they arrived home, Carlson called her into her room and while seated beside the window, told her that somebody was out to kill her.

Flores said after their conversation, Carlson became erratic and started running around her room until she called the security office.

Three weeks ago, Carlson nailed shut the same window to prevent "attackers" whom Carlson told her might try to enter the penthouse, she said.

Chief Superintendent Jose Marlowe Pedregoza, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory, said Carlson’s skull split into two and her body was fractured, and that her extremities were shattered.

Carlson’s lungs, heart, liver, right kidney, spleen, tongue and eyeballs were also lacerated, and that she had bruises all over her body, said Dr. Ma. Cristina Freyra, PNP medico legal officer.

Carlson’s remains were flown to Ilocos Norte yesterday afternoon, accompanied by Laoag Mayor Rogelio Fariñas, younger brother of her husband.

Carlson will be buried in the Fariñas hometown.
A miserable life
Those who have known Carlson say that she should be happy and peaceful where she is, all because she left a miserable life not really of her own making.

In fact, Carlson’s life started like a beautiful dream, only to end in a nightmare which she never recovered from until she leapt to her death.

Reared in the States, Carlson was 16 when she bagged the Bb. Young-Pilipinas title in 1979, together with Dang Cecilio as Bb. Pilipinas-Universe, Ava Quibrana as Bb. Pilipinas-Maja and Melanie Marquez as Bb. Pilipinas-International (Melanie won that same year’s Miss International crown in Tokyo).

Immediately after her reign, Carlson succumbed to the lure of klieg lights, making a name as an "accidental" comedienne in the sitcom "Chicks to Chicks" in which she co-starred with Carmi Martin (who was the first to check Carlson’s body at the Platinum 2000), Nova Villa, and former Sen. Freddie Webb.

Carlson endeared herself to Filipino televiewers with a quaint way of speaking Tagalog, saying "totot" when she meant "totoo" (true) and "si ako, si ikaw" (it’s me, it’s you).

Carlson did a few movies, but her showbiz career was cut short when she married Fariñas in the early 1980s. It was former senator Freddie Webb who introduced Carlson to Fariñas when the "Chicks to Chicks" cast went to Ilocos Norte for taping.

Fariñas had just passed the Bar at the time, placing among the Top 10. He later became mayor of Laoag and then governor of Ilocos Norte.

Just when everybody thought that Carlson was living happily ever after as Mrs. Rudy Fariñas, news started filtering out of Ilocos Norte that she was a battered wife, with Carlson herself confirming the rumors a few years later when she went on TV and admitted that Fariñas, then suspected to be a drug taker, had forced her to take drugs, too, and let his bodyguards molest her while he was watching.

She also claimed to have been beaten by Fariñas and, one time, hit in the face.

Carlson tried to escape, only to go back home when Fariñas picked her up from wherever she was hiding. She tried to escape again, only to go back home again.

Fariñas accused Carlson of being "mentally unstable" and let her stay at the Platinum 2000 only with a maid for companion, with Fariñas and their children staying in Ilocos Norte. — With reports from Marichu Villanueva, Jaime Laude, Teddy Molina

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