By BEN BALCE
and JOEY NACALABAN
THE family of slain University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines president Ricardo Rotoras complained about what they said was the failure of the police in bringing the brains behind the Dec. 2, 2017 murder to justice even as they marked the 100th day since the shooting death of the academic leader outside his home in uptown Cagayan de Oro.
Rotoras’s relatives said the police were slow and haven’t brought closure to the case despite the arrest of an alleged gunman Johnreal Abel Gumanay in Makati in January.
Dr. Rotoras’s elder brother Eldie said a statement by the police that the murder case was considered closed after Gumanay’s arrest angered their family.
“Why did the police say the case is considered closed? We don’t have any reason to feel satisfied with the statement,” he said.
He was referring to a February pronouncement by Cagayan de Oro City Police Office spokesman Senior Insp. Mardy Hortillosa that declared the Rotoras murder case closed.
Eldie said he and his family have yet to be fully convinced about Gumanay’s involvement in the Dec. 2, 2017 gun attack at Golden Glow North Subdivision in Upper Carmen.
“It’s been 100 days already but the police have yet to identify and file a case against the criminals — the real gunmen and mastermind,” he said.
Eldie said the Rotoras family did not wish to question the arrest of Gumanay but they noted that the man was arrested not because of the assassination of Dr. Rotoras but because he had a warrant of arrest issued by the 15th branch of the Regional Trial Court in Ozamiz City for the 2016 killing former Ozamiz vice mayor Rolando Romero.
Police said Gumanay, who hails from Zamboanga who lived in Parañaque prior to his arrest, served as a bodyguard of the now fugitive Ozamiz councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog.
The 33-year old Gumanay a.k.a Jan-Jan, Jun-Jun, Alejandro Ceniza, and Jun Putot, was allegedly a gun-for-hire who allegedly told the police in January that he was involved in a “recent hit” in Cagayan de Oro. Gumanay did not say who the victim of the Cagayan de Oro “hit” was.
Last week, Hortillosa admitted that investigators were still facing difficulties in identifying brains behind the Rotoras murder.
Hortillosa said authorities cannot force Gumanay to confess to any crime and reveal any information against his will because the suspect has human rights which authorities respect.
Eldie expressed his dismay over the the slow pace of the investigation, adding that the Rotorases have not seen “visible progress” in the police work on the murder case.
He also criticized investigators, including those from the National Bureau of Investigation, over their failure to examine Dr. Rotoras’s two cellular phones.
Authorities’ pronouncements about the security camera recordings taken by investigators remained unclear and no member of the Rotoras family have seen any of it, said Eldie.
Officials earlier said the CCTV recordings showed the gunmen and their getaway vehicle.
“Where’s the result of their work on the CCTV (recordings)? It should help in their investigation,” Eldie said.
He said the Rotorases have noted that officials earlier claimed the cellular phones and the CCTV recordings provided a breakthrough in the investigation yet it appeared to them that the phones have not been accessed yet and the video recordings have not yet been enhanced.
Eldie said the police’s move in releasing the facial composite of a potential female witness was a futile exercise because until now, the real gunmen and the mastermind remained unknown.