THE Commission on Higher Education over the weekend strongly condemned the shooting death of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines president Ricardo Rotoras on Saturday.
In an e-mailed statement, Ched Commissioner J. Prospero de Vera III pointed out that Rotoras had been a staunch, reliable, and long-time ally of the Commission in its efforts to push for reforms in the country’s higher education.
De Vera pointed out Rotoras’s role as president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges.
De Vera said Pasuc, under the watch of Rotoras, served as a critical collaborator of Ched in advocating for greater support to state universities and colleges, and in shaping many of the strategic reforms.
“The Commission is one with the entire Philippine higher education sector in grieving the tragic and untimely loss of an esteemed partner,” the Ched statement reads in part. “We express our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Dr. Rotoras and to the USTP community, as we appeal to the authorities to exhaust all means to bring his perpetrators to justice.”
It was during Rotoras’s term as state university president that the institution saw two major transformations, first from being declared as Mindanao University of Science and Technology to its current status as the center of science and technology in Mindanao.
The conversion from Must to USTP was through Republic Act 10919 that resulted in the amalgamation of the Must, and the Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
The school has also maintained its Level IV status as state university (highest distinction) and was adjudged by the Ched and the Department of Budget and Management to be one of the 19 leading state universities in the country.
Rotoras’s colleagues described the victim as a “dedicated public servant” and a “workaholic.”
“This is very sad and a great loss to the academic community and Mindanao,” said Mayor Oscar Moreno who called Rotoras a “local boy” who had worked his way to the top.
Moreno noted that city hall has had collaborative projects with USTP under Rotoras’s watch, inluding the establishment of the Building Permit Management System at the Office of the Building Official. (with reports from pna)