CHARLOTTE Andaya, 50, received a reply from her husband, former Mandaue City councilor Beethoven “Toben” Andaya, when she texted him around 6 p.m. last Sunday, a few hours before he checked in at Pebbles Beach Resort in Barangay Liloan, Santander.
Little did she know, it was their last exchange of text messages.
The following day, Charlotte was informed by her brother-in-law that her husband was found dead inside his room at the resort, after the latter received a call from management.
“He had no enemies. As a matter of fact, my husband had a lot of friends. He was a likeable person and he had been very good to everyone,” she said in Cebuano.
Toben and Charlotte have three daughters.
The eldest is 29 and works as a nurse in Los Angeles, California while their 24-year-old daughter is studying physiotherapy in The Netherlands. The two are on their way home after they learned of their father’s death.
The youngest daughter is a 19-year-old chemical engineering student at a local university.
The Police Crime Laboratory 7 autopsied Toben's body yesterday.
Lawyer Victor Maambong, a relative of the Andayas, said the result showed that Toben was shot and there were no signs the wound was self-inflicted.
Maambong said the bullet entered the back of Toben's left hand and then went to his chest, which showed that he used his left hand to protect himself. The bullet then exited the victim's back.
The shot was made more than three feet away from the victim.
Eugene, Toben's brother, said that it was hard to think the latter had enemies considering his personality.
Toben was the fifth of seven siblings. Eugene, 42, is the youngest.
Meanwhile, Supt. Mario Ba-quiran Jr., the police chief of Santander, said the killing of Toben may have premeditated and the culprits knew him.
The Cebu Provincial Police Office will form a task group, which includes the Provincial Intelligence Branch, to identify the two men, who may have killed Toben between 9:30 and 11 p.m. last Sunday inside the latter's room at the resort.
Toben's body was discovered around 7 a.m. last Monday by a resort worker.
Baquiran said the culprits took the victim's two cell phones, possibly to leave no trace of their communication.
Police ruled out suicide in Toben's death, after learning from Eugene that the victim was left-handed.
The bullet entered Toben's left hand, which made police believe he did not shoot himself.
Baquiran said the toppled soda and mineral water bottles and the monobloc chair were signs that there was a scuffle.
Baquiran said Toben may have tried to parry the .9mm Glock pistol with his left hand. When one of the gunman pulled the trigger, the slug tore through the hand.
Two siblings who rented the room adjacent to Toben's did not hear any sound. However, they saw two men knock on Toben's door.
Baquiran said Toben may have touched the gun's muzzle when it went off, muffling the sound. Crime scene investigators noticed thick gunpowder burns on the victim's palm.
It was also raining last Sunday night. The rain's noise, Baquiran said, may have drowned out the sound of gunshot. A slug and an empty shell were found in the room.
Police are considering that the victim of a robbery, as Toben often P20,000 to P30,000 in cash for his bets on cockfights.
Baquiran, however, said if the culprits were robbers they would not knock on Toben's door.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 13, 2017.
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