Cagayan de Oro City

Baptist bishop tied to murder asks prosecutors for more time to respond

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Baptist bishop tied to murder asks prosecutors for more time to respond

VICTIM. The graduation photo of murder victim Adriane Rovic Fornillos.

Bishop's lawyer says one question they intend to answer is why the preacher has been dragged into the murder of 2023 Mister Cagayan de Oro candidate Adriane Rovic Fornillos

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Embattled Lapasan Baptist Church Bishop Dimver Andales, facing allegations linking him to the shooting death of the 2023 Mister Cagayan de Oro candidate Adriane Rovic Fornillos, has asked prosecutors for more time to answer the complaint filed against him.

Andales’ lawyer,  Rhobert Maestre, confirmed the request on Thursday, September 7, seeking 10 more days to prepare a counter-affidavit in relation to the murder accusations leveled against the Baptist preacher and four other people.

Andales, a prominent preacher with close ties to local politicians, faces allegations of orchestrating Fornillos’ murder, purportedly due to a love triangle.

A still unidentified gunman shot Fornillos as he was riding his motorcycle in Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro, on the evening of May 9. The 24-year-old victim subsequently died in a hospital.

Maestre cited the need for more time for the validation of evidence presented in the complaint, including screenshots, and the necessity to respond to sworn statements.

Cagayan de Oro prosecutors earlier issued a subpoena to Andales and his co-respondents, granting them a 10-day window to submit their responses to the complaint. None of the four other respondents have been identified by authorities or the lawyers.

Regional State Prosecutor Merlynn Barola Uy confirmed the subpoena to Andales on Wednesday, September 6, following months of case build-up by the police.

While neither prosecutors nor the lawyers have disclosed specific case details, Uy commended the police’s diligent investigative efforts in the initial case build-up.

The decision to pursue murder charges in court will depend on how Andales would answer the complaint, according to Uy.

Expressing confidence in their position, Maestre said they were confident that the complaint would be dismissed upon the submission of their counter-affidavit.

He said one question they intend to answer is why Andales has been dragged into Fornillos’ murder several months back. – Lito Rulona/Rappler

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