By NITZ ARANCON
MANY University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines students went to school yesterday in black to dramatize the grief and to condemn the killing of their university president over the weekend.
Classes were suspended to give way to a morning mass officiated at the USTP gym.
The body of murdered USTP president Ricardo Rotoras is scheduled to be brought from the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes on Capistrano St. to the USTP gym tomorrow morning, said Rotoras’s elder brother Eldie.
He said the wake at the USTP would be until Thursday.
A group of over 100 presidents of state universities and colleges, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, is expected at the USTP wake tomorrow.
Rotoras’s body is scheduled to be laid to rest at Greenhills Memorial Park in Bulua on Friday afternoon.
The slain USTP president is survived by his wife Zarah Lyn, and his children Rick Laureance, 12; Erika Zara, 11; and Zariah Anika, 6.
Dr. Rotoras’s killing sent shockwaves across the city and elsewhere. According to Eldie, his slain brother’s fellow Masons have started a fund-raising campaign for a reward to be given to anyone who could provide useful information about the USTP president’s killers.
He said there were other groups doing the same thing.
On Saturday night, Mayor Oscar Moreno announced that city hall would give a P1-million reward to anyone who can help authorities catch the killers.
The elder Rotoras said the P1-million reward from city hall would help in speeding up the investigation into the murder case.
In Manila, Senate President Aquilino Martin Pimentel III strongly condemned the killing of Rotoras.
Pimentel called on law enforcement agencies to exert and exhaust all efforts to quickly arrest the suspected killers and unmask their mastermind in what he described as a “dastardly act.”
“I am alarmed and outraged by this latest attack on our law-abiding and dedicated public servant. I urge the police to work double time to arrest the killers and unmask the mastermind,” said Pimentel.
He added: “We are a peace-loving society and killings of this nature must be stopped. The police must do its job to protect and secure the people against rouge elements of society.”
Pimentel said Rotoras was a “big loss” to Cagayan de Oro, noting that he served as head of the USTP for years and was elected president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges for the fourth consecutive term.