By LITO RULONA
A MAKESHIFT ladder placed at a concrete fence just outside the home of murdered University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines president Ricardo Rotoras is helping the National Bureau of Investigation in piecing together a story about how the killers managed to get inside the gated Golden Glow-North subdivision in upper Carmen undetected by guards.
First, the ladder, hurriedly made using cheap lumber, tells investigators that the gunmen knew what they were doing.
“The murder was well-planned,” said NBI director for northern Mindanao Sally Hans Barbaso.
The crude ladder was discovered right outside the subdivision’s approximately nine-foot concrete fence near Masterson Avenue. At the other side of the fence is the house of the Rotorases.
Barbaso said, “Nakuha nga hagdan duol sa ilang panimalay nga didto mi-agi ang killer.”
Investigators hope to squeeze more information out of the ladder by subjecting it to laboratory examination.
The ladder was taken by the local police’s Scene of the Crime Operatives in the hope that it would provide investigators the fingerprints of the killers.
Barbaso said the NBI was also able to secure a copy of a surveillance camera recording from an establishment near the crime scene, and a witness has already submitted an affidavit.
On Monday afternoon, Rotoras’s widow Zarah Lynn also submitted an affidavit to NBI investigator Chemene Nacua. Ms. Rotoras was assisted by former Misamis Oriental provincial board member and lawyer Oscar Musni who was among the last people with Dr. Rotoras before the USTP president was attacked while he was about to enter his home.
Officials said Dr. Rotoras’s driver tested negative for gunpowder nitrates during a paraffin test.
Barbaso said the NBI would explore all possible angles as it works to identify those behind the Nov. 2 shooting death of Rotoras.
He said the NBI was also looking into Rotoras’s work as USTP president.
Meanwhile, Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. asked the city council to approve a P500-thousand budget to increase Mayor Oscar Moreno’s P1-million reward offer to P1.5 million.
Moreno earlier announced that city hall would give P1 million to anyone in exchange for useful information that could lead to the arrest of Rotoras’s killers.
Lao told the city council, “Dako kaayo ang natabang ni Rotoras ngadto sa development sa Cagayan de Oro og angayan padak-an ang reward.”
The city council referred Lao’s proposal to one of its committees for further study.
Chief Insp. Mardi Hortillosa, city police spokesman, said the city hall offer of a reward would likely help in speeding up the investigation and law enforcement work.
“Daghan ma-encourage ani nga motabang labi na kay dako na kaayo ang reward,” Hortillosa said.