Sen. Chiz Escudero on Sunday condemned the killing of Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), as he urged the police to immediately arrest the perpetrators.
“I strongly condemn this horrendous act of violence against a member of our academic community. This is clearly unacceptable and enraging,” Escudero said.
“While I extend my deepest sympathies to the bereaved family as well as to the USTP (University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines) community, I join the academe in mourning the death of Dr. Rotoras, whose efforts to help improve the country’s higher education system will not be forgotten. His untimely passing is a great loss not only to his family, friends, and colleagues but to the whole higher education sector as well,“ he added.
Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, also asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to do their best to immediately arrest the culprits. “I urge the PNP to act swiftly on this case and exhaust all means to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Cagayan de Oro City police, however, said they have formed a special investigation task group to look into all the possible motives for the killing and capture the suspects.
Rotoras was gunned down by unknown attackers right in front of his residence in Golden Glow North Subdivision in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City, around 1 a.m. on Saturday.
According to police, Rotoras sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed to the nearby medical facility by his driver. He, however, died before reaching JR Borja General Hospital.
The investigators are currently looking into accounts of witnesses who allegedly saw people loitering within the vicinity of the subdivision before the incident. Witnesses also claimed to have seen two men walking out of the subdivision after the incident and fled on board a black pick-up truck.
The police also recovered empty shells believed to be from a .45 caliber pistol that was used to kill Rotoras.
Last July, Rotoras was re-elected unopposed for his fourth term as the head of PASUC. He has been president of USTP in Cagayan de Oro since 2006.