Former Mandaue councilor Andaya shot in chest; robbery eyed as motive
He went to a beach resort in the southern town of Santander, about 130 km from Cebu City, over the weekend to unwind.
But former councilor Beethoven Andaya of Mandaue City, Cebu, was found dead on Monday, soaked in his own blood that came from a lone gunshot wound in the chest.
Two men were seen entering his rented room on Sunday night, but no one heard a single gunshot.
Andaya’s family, friends, allies and even political rivals were shocked by what happened especially that the victim didn’t have any known enemy.
“Konsehal Toben Andaya was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man and a loyal friend,” said former Mandaue City councilor Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon, who was Andaya’s running mate when she ran for mayor of Mandaue in last 2016 elections.
Dizon and Andaya lost to Mandaue Mayor Luigi Quisumbing and Mandaue Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, who both expressed their sadness over his killing.
“We’re ruling out suicide as the motive behind the killing,” said Supt. Mario Baquiran Jr., chief of the Santander Police Station.
He said the initial pieces of evidence pointed to intentional killing.
While a 9mm pistol was found near the victim’s right hand, Andaya was left-handed. There was also a gunshot wound in his left hand.
“There were signs of struggle. A monobloc chair inside his room was overturned, while a can of coke and a bottled water fell to the ground,” he said.
Baquiran said the gunshot wound on Andaya’s left palm could be an indication that the latter tried to parry the gun aimed at him.
There was a possibility that the motive was robbery because his two cellular phones were missing.
Andaya’s brother Eugene told the police that Andaya would usually bring cash of not less than P20,000 to bet on cockfighting derbies.
But only P1,300 cash was found near Andaya’s body which may have been left by the suspects to make it appear that the victim committed suicide or for authorities to rule out robbery as the motive behind the crime.
Based on the records of the Pebbles Beach Resort and Restaurant in Barangay Liloan, Santander, Andaya was alone when he checked in around 8 p.m. on Sunday using the name Boy Andaya.
But the staff members didn’t find it unusual since Andaya would often go to the resort alone to unwind, although there were times when he was with his family.
At least two witnesses who stayed in another room inside the resort told authorities that they saw two men knock on the door where Andaya stayed around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The two suspects did not pass the resort’s main entrance based on the footage of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) installed at the administrative building — about 30 meters away from the room rented by Andaya.
“Our witnesses could not identify the faces of the suspects as the area was not properly lighted,” said Baquiran.
A worker of the beach resort went to Andaya’s room about 7 a.m. on Monday to deliver a cup of coffee.
She was shocked when she saw him lying in a pool of blood.
“The room’s door was left ajar so the resort employee decided to peep into the room and saw Andaya’s body,” said PO2 Dante Deniega, investigator of the Santander Police Station.
A staff member of the beach resort immediately called the police for assistance.
Police found a 9mm Glock pistol near Andaya’s right hand, and bills of different denominations amounting to P1,300 near his left foot.
The gun was owned by Andaya as stated by the victim’s brother Eugene, Baquiran said.
“According to his brother, the victim usually brought a gun with him for security purposes,” he said.
Baquiran said they would conduct a paraffin test on Andaya to determine whether or not he fired his gun.
Not one of Andaya’s family spoke to the media.
But according to Baquiran, Andaya’s brother told them that they did not know of anyone who held a grudge against the former councilor.
Baquiran said there was a possibility that Andaya knew the two persons who got inside his room.
According to the two witnesses, one of the suspects went out of Andaya’s room around 10 p.m. on Sunday or about 30 minutes after he went in.
The witnesses had no idea as to when the other suspect left Andaya’s room.
But no one heard any gunshot.
Baquiran said the resort’s CCTV is installed at the administrative building which is about 30 meters away from the cottage where Andaya’s room was located.
“We’re looking for other CCTVs from other establishments, hoping that we could identify these two men,” he said.
“It’s possible that the suspects passed through other entry points. As you can see, the resort has a barbed wire as fence. The suspects could have easily climb over the fence to go to the victim’s room,” he added.
Andaya, 55, served as councilor of Mandaue City for nine years before he decided to run as vice mayor in 2016.
He was defeated by Vice Mayor Fortuna.
Andaya, a resident of Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City, held a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of San Jose Recoletos.
He and his wife Charlotte have three children.
Andaya owns furniture shops, a trucking business, a piggery and merchandising stores in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue, and in Consolacion town.
Mayor Quisumbing expressed sorrow over the “untimely demise” of Andaya.
“Regardless of political affiliation, we feel very deeply the loss of our fellow Mandauehanon and public servant in the government, being the former city councilor of Mandaue,” he said.
Fortuna shared the same sentiment with Quisumbing.
“We are saddened for the loss of a good man, a good public servant, a businessman and an entrepreneur. May the family find justice to his untimely demise,” he said.
Ouano, who was Andaya’s running mate, said she hoped that the investigation would lead to a swift conclusion and justice would be obtained for the former councilor.
“Today, we lost a great man. No one will ever fully know the extent of his contributions to the city of Mandaue,” she said in a text message.
“His quick wit and insightful comments were always the highlight of any event,” she added.
Andaya’s nephew and incumbent Mandaue City Councilor Malcolm Seno said they would let police finish the investigation before they issue any statement.