BY CRIS DIAZ
CAGAYAN de Oro City--The science university’s flag flew at half-mast here Monday while the faculty members and students wore black T-shirt in an expression of grief over the killing of Dr. Ricardo E. Rotoras early Saturday morning.
Rotoras, 48, the President of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), was gunned down by three unidentified suspects in front of his residence in the Golden Glow Village, a middle-income subdivision in Upper Carmen here early Saturday morning.
All faculty members and students of the university wore black T-shirt and attended a mass in honor of the fallen university President at the sprawling university gymnasium in the university’s main campus in Lapasan Monday morning.
A student leader said that a "prayer rally" with lighted candles forming letter "justice" at 7 p.m. Monday would be held in the university's playground as an expression of grief and to demand the early solution of the Rotoras murder.
An enrage city residents also called for the immediate resolution and identification of the mastermind in the shooting to death of one of the country’s highly respected educators.
City Mayor Oscar Moreno announced the raising of the P 1 million bounty for anyone who could provide information that would lead to the arrest and the identification of the suspects in the Rotoras murder.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, III, has expressed shock and alarmed over the killing of Rotoras and enjoined the law enforcers to work double time to arrest the culprits.
“I am alarmed and outraged by this latest attack on our law-abiding and dedicated public servants. I urge the police to work double time to arrest the killers and unmask the mastermind,” Pimentel said in a statement.
Police investigators said that the assailants gained entry and exit to the guarded subdivision’s main gate by mounting a stair at the back of the subdivision’s perimeter fence where the suspects came out near the location of Rotoras’ house.
Aside from serving as USTP President for 11 years prior to the shooting incident, Rotoras was elected (unopposed) for the fourth time as the President of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) on July 2017 in an election held in Manila.
Rotoras who was appointed President in 2006 of the then Mindanao Polytechnic State College (MPSC) prior to its conversion as the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) in 2009.
Rotoras also worked in collaboration with Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, of Cagayan De Oro City’s 2nd District, and Senator Francis Escudero to transform the MUST into the USTP in 2016.
In an expression of solidarity and mourning the USTP’s official website at cdo.ustp.gov.ph published the following, “We, the USTP community, mourn our loss and condemn the violent act which took away the dynamic, Phronetic, and inspiring leader who has faithfully served as President of our university for 11 years. Justice of Dr. Ricardo Enriquez Rotoras.” -0-
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