CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The remains of slain University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) president Ricardo Rotoras will be laid to rest on Friday, Dec, 8, as the reward money for those who can pinpoint his shooters and their mastermind has now gone up to P2.5 million.
Rotoras, who was gunned down outside his home in a posh housing subdivision Barangay Carmen on Dec. 2, was also the head of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) for four consecutive terms prior to his death.
A few hours after he was killed, City Mayor Oscar Moreno offered a P1 million bounty for those who can identify the perpetrators.
Another P1 million was offered by the members of the local chapters of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, of which Rotoras was an active member.
On Wednesday, the City Council approved the release of P500,000 as additional reward money.
Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., the one who proposed the reward, said he was hoping someone would have the courage to work with investigators so the perpetrators could be identified.
NBI-10 regional director Sally Hans Barbaso said the P2.5 reward money would embolden those who may have knowledge on the identity of the shooters and mastermind to come forward.
Based on their initial investigation, Barbaso said they believed there were at least four persons who carried out Rotoras’ shooting.
Aside from the two gunmen, he said, another person acted as a lookout outside the subdivision fence. The fourth suspect was the driver of the shooters’ getaway vehicle.
It was also possible that a second lookout was monitoring Rotoras while he was attending a Christmas party in a hotel hours before the victim was killed.
He said the shooting was “a well-planned and well-financed operation” as he believed that the gunmen were hired professionals.
Meanwhile, The Commission of Higher Education (CHED) has designated USTP-Claveria Campus chancellor as the temporary USTP president.(davaotoday.com)