By CRIS DIAZ
THE shooting to death of Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, President of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), saddened the peace-loving people of Cagayan De Oro City.
Rotoras, who was also the President of the influential Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), was shot by three unidentified suspects while he was about to enter his house in “Golden Glow Subdivision,” a middle-income subdivision in Upper Carmen here about 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
The university honcho has just attended a party somewhere in downtown Cagayan De Oro City and has just stepped out of his car when waylaid by the gunmen. Rotoras died of eight fatal gunshot wounds, most of them fired at a closer range on his head.
Rotoras wife escaped unharmed because she went home ahead early Friday evening. Police investigators said that the suspects may also have knowledge that Rotoras was attending the party and waited for his return.
The incident, once again, compelled us to reconsider a review of the security measures of the middle and high-end subdivisions in the city. Finding a lone security guard manning the main gate showed the security lapses of the developers and the house owners in the subdivision. The closed-circuit television cameras installed in the area was also inadequate.
While the CCTV might provide some important leads of the possible suspects in the shooting incident, the clarity and technical capability of the CCTV to identify the possible getaway vehicle.
The incident is also a wake-up call to government and private individuals who are holding sensitive positions. There is a need to appreciate the hiring of highly trained “driver security.”
It is admitted that security is very expensive because the higher the stake, the higher the vulnerability. It is, however, worth. Had Rotoras employed a “security driver,” his chances of surviving the shooting could be higher.
Anyway, who could be the mastermind of the shooting of Rotoras? One of the most critical questions was the motive of the shooting. The motive of the shooting could be something more than taking the life of someone with a larger than life dreams. The law enforcers should closely look into this and expect that some “fall guys” might be employed to conceal the real identity of the mastermind.
The family has reportedly provided some clues because Rotoras reportedly confided that he has been receiving “death threats.”
If the family could provide the positive identification of the suspects, it would not take long before the suspects could be arrested.
At any rate, the killing of Rotoras challenges the capability of the law enforcers’ capability to solve the murder. The issue here not because Rotoras is a prize member of the community. The issue is that when people like Rotoras is no longer safe, how much more for ordinary people like us?
At a young age of 48, a brighter future for the infantile USTP lies ahead with Rotoras at the helm. The USTP was established on Aug. 16, 2016 by virtue of Republic Act 10919 through the “amalgamation” of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Cagayan De Oro City and the Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology (MOSCAT) in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
It was former Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, who pursued the passage of Republic Act 10919 that made the USTP today. Rufus brother, Congressman Maximo Rodriguez, has also continued the unfinished projects of the USTP and is now extending support for the expansion of the university in Misamis Oriental.
Being one of the 19 leading state universities in the country, the USTP has maintained its Level 1V Status as a State University (Highest Distinction) as adjudged by the Commissions on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
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