The Tagbilaran City Police Station (TCPS) is preparing to file a murder charge against the longtime boyfriend of slain comedian and veteran disc jockey Rizalino “Inday Ruping” Torralba.
According to Tagbilaran City Police Station chief Lt. Col. Peralta, they have enough evidence and witnesses to charge Andrew Fronteras for the murder of Torralba who was found dead at the Backpacker’s Inn in Tagbilaran City on Sunday morning.
Fronteras is now under police custody after he voluntarily surrendered to the TCPS barely an hour after Torralba’s remains were found.
“We’re trying to file today or tomorrow morning,” said Peralta on Monday.
The police chief noted that they are looking into multiple angles behind Torralba’s murder including jealousy.
Fronteras, who also served as Torralba’s driver and bodyguard, was the victim’s boyfriend since 2000.
“Yun yung sabi nila, they have been together for 21 years. Yun ang sabi niya (Fronteras) at yun ang sabi ng mga kaibigan nila,” Peralta said.
Initial police report indicated that Fronteras and Torralba went into a room at the Backpacker’s Inn, which is owned by the victim’s friend, in Barangay Mansasa at past 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Torralba was believed to have been shot on the same night while the suspect was seen leaving the room alone at past 11 p.m. based on a closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage obtained by the police.
Torralba sustained a single gunshot wound in the right side of his chest caused by a bullet fired from a still unknown caliber pistol.
He was allegedly shot by Fronteras who claimed that the firing of the gun was accidental.
Frontreras alleged that he and Torralba were in a fight and they tussled for possession of the gun when it accidentally discharged a single bullet.
However, Peralta has expressed doubt over Frontera’s claim noting that if the shooting was accidental, the suspect would have taken Torralba to a hospital, particularly as the ACE Medical Center was located just some “50 meters” away from the crime scene.
There were no other guests during the incident while there was also no security guard at the establishment, which reportedly was not offering accommodations to the general public at the time.
Meanwhile, the alleged murder weapon has yet to be found as Fronteras surrendered to police without it and claimed that he already disposed of it.
“Ang sabi niya tinapon niya including a cellphone kasi may cellphone si Inday Ruping na hinahanap ng family niya na nawawala, accordingly, naitapon daw niya yung cellphone kasama yung baril,” Peralta said.
“Hindi daw niya maalala saan niya tinapon dahil while going to Jagna doon nalang niya tinapon,” she added.
According to Peralta, Fronteras was subjected to a paraffin test but results were still awaited.
“Yung sa paraffin test we are hoping na yung results makukuha natin as soon as possible,” she added.
Fronteras claimed that after leaving the inn, he went to his hometown of Jagna.
He stayed in Jagna until morning and went to a church at the town before deciding to surrender.
Torralba was a disk jockey for station DYRD’s KISS 102.3 FM for 15 years and was one of the decades-old station’s all-time most popular personalities.
On top of his radio stardom, Torralba was also a frequent host of various events and starred as a comedian in numerous shows across the province.
Following Torralba’s death, the management of station DYRD issued a statement mourning his sudden passing.
“There will be no other Inday Ruping. No voice and talent like his can fill in the void in the airlanes. The laughter and the fun he brings to homes and offices while tuned at their fav Kiss 102.3FM will forever linger in the ears of his thousands of fans,” said DYRD station manager Peter Dejaresco.
“The kindness and the humility in a heart like that of Inday Ruping will be missed by many of his friends, both in the media circle and in his campus acqauintances. His Kiss FM radio fans and the entire DYRD family will miss him. But his voice and humor will continue to linger on. Goodbye, Ping (amping),” he added.
Top government officials including Gov. Art Yap, First District Rep. Edgar Chatto and Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap have expressed grief over Torralba’s death.
Thousands of netizens also mourned Torralba’s death as they aired their sentiments over social media including through the comment section of the Chronicle’s posts announcing the beloved entertainer’s passing. (R. Tutas)