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DOJ orders probe of killing of Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, head of USTP, PASU

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the killing of the head of a state-run university here.

In his Department Order 764, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II directed the NBI to conduct an investigation and case build-up on the death of Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, “and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon.”

Aguirre said he has delegated NBI Director Dante Gierran to look into the killing of Rotoras, president of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP). He also headed the Philippine Association of State Universities and College (PASUC) at the time of his death.

Rotoras was gunned down by still unidentified assailants outside his home at Golden Glow North, a posh housing subdivision in Barangay Carmen, this city, on Dec. 2.

Aguirre also ordered Gierran to submit a report to the Office of the Secretary on its “current activities related to the implementation of this Order.”

NBI-10 Regional Director Sally Hans Barbaso said that local agents have been deployed to gather information on the case.

“Even before I received the order, we started initial investigation on the case. We can investigate motu propio,” Barbaso said in an interview Monday afternoon.

Barbaso said the agency was closely coordinating with other law enforcement agencies.

A holy mass was held for Rotoras at the USTP gymnasium Monday morning.

USTP teacher Nef Luczon said about 2,000 people, composed of the school faculty and staff, students and visitors, occupied the 1,500-capacity facility to attend the mass.

Luczon said Rotoras’ remains will be brought to the USTP gymnasium for viewing on Dec. 6-8.

In a related development, the city government has offered to give a P1 million reward for those who can lead to the arrest of the perpetrator in the Rotoras killing.

Mayor Oscar Moreno has also asked the DOJ to help in the speedy resolution of the case, said Maricel Casiño-Rivera, the city information officer. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/PNA)