The camp of a pastor whose name was dragged in viral allegations involving the death of a male pageant contestant in Cagayan de Oro said that they would file a case against those spreading “fake news” online.
Mister Cagayan de Oro (CDO) 2023 candidate Adrian Rovic Fornillos was shot dead on the night of May 9 after alighting from his motorcycle.
Reports said he was supposed to visit his talent trainer in the pageant for preparations, but he did not arrive.
Fornillos was shot in the back of his head by an unidentified gunman who approached him when the pageant bet alighted from his motorcycle.
The suspect fled the scene in a white tricab driven by someone else.
Fornillos was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead past midnight because of a severe brain injury caused by the bullet.
The Mister Cagayan de Oro 2023 organization said Fornillos was a “happy, thoughtful and generous person.”
Three months after the tragedy, rumors continued to swirl on social media amid the sudden circulation of supposed screenshots showing conversations that allegedly involved Jone Orog, Fornillos’ girlfriend.
Some social media users claimed that the unverified screenshots showed Orog telling a friend she has a “sugar daddy” or a well-to-do older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress or a girlfriend.
Other Facebook users claimed that this was Pastor Dimver Andales of the Lapasan Baptist Church in Misamis Oriental.
There were also allegations that he was supposedly behind the death of Fornillos, with some online Filipinos claiming that he got “jealous” of Orog’s relationship with the Mister CDO 2023 candidate.
Last June, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office spokesperson Lt. Col. Evan Viñas said that their investigations revealed Fornillos’ death was a case of a “crime of passion or obsession.”
“Nagawa ng suspect ang krimen dahil obsessed siya, at ayaw niya mapunta sa ibang tao ang babae,” he said in a video report.
Meanwhile, Andales denied the accusations in an interview last August 12.
“Ang mga allegations against me, hindi totoo,” he told iFM CDO.
“Sa tanong kung kilala ko si Adrian, ang pagkakakilala ko kay Adrian ay ‘yung taga-Lapasan siya,” the pastor added.
“About sa girl, yes, kilala ko rin siya because may friend siya before na friend ko rin, and because of that, I know her,” Andales further said, referring to Orog.
He also addressed rumors claiming that he was a suspect in Fornillos’ case.
“Ito ‘yung mga issues na walang basehan, at hindi ko din alam saan nanggagaling,” the pastor said before.
“Sasabihin ko lang sa lahat, evaluate properly. Kilala niyo naman ako. Alam niyo kung sino ako. Kasi ang lahat ng ito, chismis lang ito, paninira sa pangalan ko,” Andales added.
By August 19, a radio station reported that Andales’ camp was preparing to file a case of cyberlibel against four individuals spreading “fake news” against the pastor.
Lawyer Rhobert Maestre, the pastor’s legal counsel, said that Andales is also a victim since the latter’s credibility was affected due to the online rumors.
The pastor previously attempted to run for city council member in the second district of Cagayan de Oro City in the 2022 elections.