The father of the slain male pageant contestant in Cagayan de Oro expressed gratitude after two pastors were arrested on Monday in relation to the death of his son last May.
Andrew Bimbo Santivañez on Monday, October 16 shared a picture of the grave marker of Mister Cagayan de Oro (CDO) 2023 candidate Adrian Rovic Fornillos with the following caption, as translated into English:
“THANK YOU, LORD, YOU HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN JUSTICE FOR MY SON. SALAMAT, GINOO.”
Santivañez’s post has earned 2,500 likes and reactions so far.
The patriarch shared the status on the same day the Agora police in Barangay Lapasan in Cagayan de Oro City arrested Pastor Dimver Andales and Junior Pastor Jether Notnot for murder charges.
Both were from the Lapasan Baptist Church.
Reports said they were suspects in the killing of Fornillos, who died on May 9, 2023 after being shot in the head. The latter was supposed to visit his talent trainer in the pageant for preparations.
Nazareth Police Chief Police Captain Byron-John Ratunil said the arrest was made based on the evidence they have gathered.
“At the same time, sa case process build-up, napatunayan talaga natin kaya ‘yan ang mga pangalan na lumabas,” he said to GMA Regional TV’s One Mindanao on Monday.
Another report said the police alleged Andales, a candidate for Cagayan de Oro city councilor in the 2022 elections, masterminded the murder.
Notnot, meanwhile, was accused of being an accomplice.
Andales denied the accusations and said that his camp is ready to face the charges in court.
His legal counsel, lawyer Rhobert Maestre, said that the case had affected Andales’ work as a pastor. It has also affected the latter’s family.
“I will definitely say that he is not okay because this has an impact on his credibility as a pastor,” Maestre said, as translated into English.
“It has an impact on him as a father to his family, as a husband [and] as a leader in the community, especially now that his son is running as a kagawad, so it really has an impact,” he added.
Maestre also said much of the evidence against the Baptist ministers was circumstantial and that the police have not yet caught the gunman who shot Fornillos.
On the other hand, lawyer Dale Mordeno, the Fornillos’ family’s lawyer, said that there was sufficient evidence against the arrested ministers.
“We have pieces of evidence. These are circumstantial in the sense that the accused was not seen at the scene of the crime. But during the case build-up, we gathered enough evidence that links the accused to the crime,” he said in a radio interview.
Andales began to be linked to Fornillos’ death three months after the tragedy, when supposed screenshots circulated on social media.
Some social media users claimed the unverified screenshots showed Jone Orog, Fornillos’ girlfriend, telling a friend she has a “sugar daddy” or a well-to-do older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress or a girlfriend.
Other Facebook users claimed this was Andales.
There were also allegations he was supposedly behind the death of Fornillos, with some online Filipinos claiming he got “jealous” of Orog’s relationship with the Mister CDO 2023 candidate.