Veteran actor Ronaldo Valdez dies of gunshot wound; suicide or murder?

Veteran and award-winning actor Ronald James Dulaca Gibbs, best known by his screen name Ronaldo Valdez, died on Sunday. He was 6.

The cause of his death was not disclosed but the Quezon City Police admitted they are investigating thoroughly the circumstances of his death.

Initial reports indicated Valdez was found with a gunshot wound while seated on a chair in his room with a gun allegedly in his hand, suggesting he might have accidentally pulled the trigger.

The QC police district said they subjected the area and the gun for paraffin tests. All of his home companions also underwent paraffin and ballistic tests as part of the standard operating procedure of the investigation.

QCPD chief Brig. Gen Redrico Maranan later said that Valdez was found in a chair in his unit in Casa Nueva Homes, Manga Street, New Manila, Quezon City, on Sunday afternoon.

Valdez had gunshot wounds in his right and left temple and was holding a gun in one hand when his driver Angelito Oclarit found his body.

Maranan said that they will release the findings of the investigation once it’s finished.

“We also urge the public to refrain from concluding and respect the family’s request to grieve in private,” he said.

Meanwhile, a disturbing video showing the moment emergency responders found late Filipino actor motionless in a chair has surfaced online. The clip violating the privacy and dignity of the deceased has sparked widespread outrage, leading to the suspension or dismissal of cops who did the video supposedly for record purposes.

Ronaldo’s talent manager Jamela Santos criticized the uploaded video of the crime scene on her Facebook account.

The QCPD said they are “conducting a thorough investigation to ascertain the cause of the death of Mr. James Gibbs aka Ronaldo Valdez.”

Major Don Don Llapitan, chief of the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, said that the actor was found in his room around 3 p.m. and he had a gunshot wound. A gun was also found.

“Si Sir Ronaldo Valdez ay nakaupo po sa kanyang upuan, wala na pong malay. May tama sa right temple at ‘yung baril na ginamit nga ay nasa kamay pa rin ‘yung baril po,” said Major Llapitan.

Valdez was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

GMA News and other media reported that since a gun was found in the room, everyone in Valdez’s house was subjected to a paraffin test in what police said was part of the standard operating procedure for incidents that may involve a crime and does not necessarily mean they are involved in what happened.

At press time on Tuesday, police said they are still awaiting the results of the paraffin and ballistic tests.

Valdez’s acting career spanned nearly six decades since 1966.

His last project was the romantic ABS-CBN drama series “2 Good 2 Be True” where he starred alongside former love team and real-life couple Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. He portrayed the character “Lolo Sir.”

He was also part of some of GMA’s shows including “Beh Bote Nga,” “Bahay Mo Ba ‘To,” and “Meant to Be.”

The family is requesting “that you respect our privacy in our grieving moment.”

He is survived by his wife, Maria Fe Ilagan Gibbs, and his two children,  actor-comedian, TV host and singer Janno Gibbs and Melissa Gibbs and celebrity Janno Melissa Gibbs.

Local stars grieves the passing of the veteran actor.

Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos-Recto offered her condolences and prayers to her former on-screen partner, posting an old photo of a scene they played in.

“You will be missed. Rest in Peace, my friend,” the veteran actress said

Valdez and Santos-Recto starred in the 1981 film “Karma,” an official entry in the 7th Metro Manila Film Festival. They also starred in films “Langis at Tubig” (1980) at “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan?” (1982).

Award-winning actress Kathryn Bernardo was also among the first to post of Valdez’s death on Instagram, posting multiple stories of the actor.

Bernardo worked alongside Valdez on hit romantic series “2 Good 2 Be True,” where the late actor’s portrayal of “Lolo Sir” captivated many viewers.

Singer-songwriter Gary Valenciano also expressed on IG his deep appreciation for Valez.

“You were the one person who I loved to watch. Your authenticity never failed to move me. Thank you sir Ronaldo Valdez,” Valenciano said.

“I never had a chance to work much with you but in those few moments I spent talking with you, it made me feel blessed to know that I got to meet someone like you,” he added.

Valdez’ friend and colleague Dimples Romana recalled how the veteran star changed her life.

May mga taong sadyang makakapagpabago ng pagtingin mo sa buhay. Tatatak sila sayo hanggang sa huli at kailanman ay hindi mo sila malilimot. Ikaw yun sa akin. At sa napakarami pa naming nagmamahal sayo Lo,” she said.

[Translation: There are people who can change the way you look at life. They will make a mark until the end and you will never forget them. That’s you to me. And there are so many of us who love you Lo]

Other stars such as Karla Estrada, Bella Padilla and talent manager Wilbert Tolentino also expressed their gratitude to the actor.

“Ronaldo Valdez” has been a trending topic on X (formerly Twitter) for the Philippines since Monday morning. (with Jennifer T. Santos)