A FORMER Mandaue City councilor was found dead on Monday morning, September 11, in a beach resort in Barangay Liloan, Santander town, Cebu.
Police believe foul play was involved in the death of former Mandaue City councilor Beethoven “Toben” Ceniza Andaya.
A witness saw two men knocking on the door of a room at Pebbles Beach Resort that was occupied by the 55-year-old victim around 9:30 p.m. last Sunday. The person failed to see their faces because the lights were dim.
Santander Police Chief Mario Baquiran Jr. said Andaya may have been robbed by the men, who also shot him after he resisted.
Investigators are also looking into the possibility that Andaya committed suicide, but Baquiran said it is highly unlikely for a person to leave the door ajar before shooting himself.
Police found bills amounting to P1,000 scattered on the floor and Andaya’s wallet outside the room. Relatives said the victim often carried a big amount of money for his bets on cockfighting.
Andaya’s cell phone was gone, creating doubts that the killers knew him and were angry at him.
Baquiran, however, said what confused his investigators was that the victim’s .9mm Glock pistol was in the scene.
Initial examination on Andaya’s body showed the bullet tore through his left chest and exited the back of his body.
A resort’s security camera might help police identify the culprits, but the initial footage they recovered only captured the arrival of Andaya.
Around 7:45 a.m., a resort employee who was delivering coffee to Andaya’s room noticed his door was slightly open. She looked inside and saw the victim’s bloodied body on the floor, lying motionless.
The resort’s management then called the police.
Last Sunday, Andaya left his home, telling his wife he had a business to take care of, but he did not elaborate.
The cashier on-duty said the former public official arrived in the resort at 8:50 p.m.
As to the two men knocking on his door, Andaya reportedly let them in. Twenty minutes later, one of them left.
Baquiran said they still have to investigate the victim’s other activities. His body will also be autopsied, while his pistol will be examined.
The victim’s nephew, Man-daue City Councilor Malcom Andaya-Sanchez, said their family is a frequent visitor to Pebbles Beach Resort, especially during Holy Week.
Sanchez said his uncle has a trucking business and the latter had a business appointment in Dumaguete City.
He said that the last time the family was together, which was last Sept. 3, Andaya didn’t look sad or troubled.
(Sanchez’s mother Imelda and Andaya are siblings.)
Andaya’s wake will be at St. Peter’s Funeral Chapel in Mandaue for three days. The wake will be then transferred to their ancestral house in Barangay Paknaan.
He and his wife Charlotte have three children, who are abroad.
In a press conference, Mayor Luigi Quisumbing expressed his condolences to Andaya’s family.
The City Council through Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna asked authorities to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation.
Andaya served as councilor for three terms, or nine years, in Mandaue. He ran for vice mayor in the May 2016 election, but was defeated by Fortuna. He was the running mate of former councilor Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano.
In a text message, Ouano said she was saddened by his untimely death and prayed that justice will be obtained for the late official.
“We lost a great man. Konsehal Toben Andaya was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man, and a loyal friend. No one will ever fully know the extent of his contributions to the city of Mandaue. His quick wit and insightful comments were always the highlight of any event,” Ouano added.