University president shot dead in Cagayan de Oro

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: The President of the state-owned University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) was shot dead in front of his residence in an uptown subdivision in Upper Carmen here on Saturday morning.

Senior Supt. Roy Bahian, city police chief, identified the victim as Ricardo Rotoras, 48, also president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).

Witnesses told the police that Rotoras was shot dead at close range by three unidentified gunmen as the official arrived home about 1 a.m. Saturday from a party held in an outskirt hotel here.

Bahian said the suspects may have waited for the victim to come home and have prior knowledge that Rotoras was attending a party.


Jonathan Mabaylan, driver of Rotoras, told the police that the victim came out of the car and walked toward his house while he went to park the vehicle. Getting off the car, he noticed that the official was sprawled to the ground.

“I saw Rotoras sprawled on the pavement and thought he just slipped, so I hurriedly went to help him, but saw that he was lying in a pool of blood and I shouted for help,” Mabaylan said.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives who went to the crime scene said Rotoras succumbed to eight fatal gunshots in various parts of his body, including the head, from a caliber .45 pistol.

Bahian said the police have created a task force to determine the motive for the killing and identify the suspects and the mastermind, eight hours after the shooting.

The lone security guard assigned at the subdivision’s main gate told the police that he heard two gunshots at about 1a.m. on Saturday. He responded to the cries for help of Rotoras’ wife and the victim was brought to a hospital.

Bahian said investigators suspect that the killers climbed on the subdivision’s wall near Rotoras’ residence and used the same as escape route.

A closed circuit TV camera mounted near the subdivision’s main gate has recorded a black pickup which sped away after the shooting incident.

Rotoras, elected president of USTP for four consecutive terms, steered the school as one of the premier state universities in the country today. He served as its president when the university was still named Mindanao University of Science and Technology.

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