By NITZ ARANCON
AUTHORITIES arrested a “person of interest” in the investigation into the Dec. 2, 2017 shooting death of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) president Ricardo Rotoras in a raid carried out inside a gated subdivision in uptown Cagayan de Oro yesterday morning.
Supt. Melgar Devaras, deputy regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, identified the arrested man as Architect Rey Galua a.k.a. Yoyong of Lot 1, Block 1, Cluster 1, Golf Estate, Pueblo de Oro.
Authorities said the raid on the 43-year old Galua’s house resulted in the discovery of an arms cache that included two grenades, two caliber .45 pistols, a 9mm pistol, a caliber .38 pistol, ammunition and a bolo, among others.
Devaras said the raid had nothing to do with the Rotoras case but he disclosed that Galua is “one of the persons of interests” in the ongoing invesigation into the December 2017 killing of the state university president.
Devaras said Galua is the “right hand” of a contractor behind the construction of an unfinished building at the USTP. He said Galua used to teach at the USTP, then called Mindanao University of Science and Technology (Must), on a part-time basis.
But an USTP insider, who spoke of condition of anonymity because she was unauthorized to speak for the university, said Galua was just one of the unfinished building’s contractors who worked on its architectural design. She said Galua also served as a thesis moderator and chairman of the Architecture Department of the state-run university.
Galua’s Facebook profile refers to him as the principal architect of RD Galua Associates.
Galua was arrested in a raid carried out by officers from the CIDG, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, Camp Alagar, and the Highway Patrol Group at around 9 am based on a Jan. 3 search warrant issued by Judge Mirabeaus Undalok of the 43rd branch of the Regional Trial Court in Gingoog City.
SPO4 Noel Oclarit said Galua was brought to the CIDG regional headquarters, and the architect would likely be charged with illegal possession of explosives, and firearms and ammunition possession before the City Prosecutor’s Office today.
Devaras said Galua told authorities that he has supporting papers for the weapons but failed to show them any when the police demanded to see the documents.