Cagayan de Oro City

Police arrest Baptist bishop, pastor linked to murder in Cagayan de Oro

Cong Corrales

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Police arrest Baptist bishop, pastor linked to murder in Cagayan de Oro

Rappler

Bishop Dimver Andales ran for councilor under the 2022 ticket of Cagayan de Oro Mayor Rolando Uy, and helped city hall as a volunteer during the early stages of the new mayor's administration

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Two Baptist ministers spent their first night in detention after the police arrested them on Monday, October 16, for the murder of a male pageant contestant in Cagayan de Oro early this year.

Arrested was politician and Bishop Dimver Andales and his associate pastor, Jether Nonot, of the Lapasan Baptist Church.

Major Joann Navarro, police spokesperson for Northern Mindanao, said a team led by Colonel Salvador Radam, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) chief, arrested Andales and Nonot at the Lapasan Baptist Church based on warrants issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Marites Felomina Rana-Bernales.

Police alleged that Andales, a candidate for Cagayan de Oro city councilor in the 2022 elections, masterminded the May 9 murder of 2023 Mister Cagayan de Oro bet Adriane Rovic Fornillos, while Nonot is accused of serving as an accomplice.

Must Read

Baptist bishop faces case for murder of Mister Cagayan de Oro bet

Baptist bishop faces case for murder of Mister Cagayan de Oro bet

The 24-year-old Fornillos was shot by a gunman as he was riding his motorcycle in Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro, on the evening of May 9. 

Cagayan de Oro’s police chief at that time, Colonel Aaron Mandia, told reporters that witnesses saw two men emerging from a vehicle just as the victim was about to leave the area.

Fornillos was shot to the head and was rushed to a hospital where he died the following day.

Fornillos’ murder was attributed to an alleged love triangle. Andales, a married man, figured prominently in the scandal that has been going viral on social media for months.

Andales, a prominent preacher with close ties to politicians, has strongly denied any hand in Fornillos’ murder.

Andales ran for councilor under the 2022 ticket of Cagayan de Oro Mayor Rolando Uy, and helped city hall as a volunteer during the early stages of the new mayor’s administration.

In a text message, Uy’s spokesman, BenCyrus Ellorin, said City Hall trusts the judicial system to afford Andales all the rights of the accused “especially, the right to be presumed innocent and to a fair trial.” 

Ellorin also said Andales is a “former political ally” of Uy. He did not elaborate.

The Baptist bishop’s lawyer, Rhobert Maestre, told local broadcaster Magnum Radio that much of the evidence against the ministers were circumstantial, and the police have not even caught the gunman.

Although murder is a non-bailable offense, Maestre said they would ask a court to consider allowing Andales to bail out because “the evidence is weak,” and the preacher is not a flight risk.

He said they would also file a petition for case review before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Dale Mordeno, the lawyer of Fornillos’ family, said there was sufficient evidence against the 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,” Mordeno told Magnum Radio.

In September, Regional State Prosecutor Merlynn Barola-Uy lauded the police for their diligent investigative efforts in the initial case build-up. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI
Download the Rappler App!