USTP president’s killers got him on 2nd attempt, says NBI

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 7 December) — The assailants of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines president Ricardo Rotoras had attempted to kill him days before they finally got a chance to shoot him dead last December 2.

National Bureau of Investigation region 10 Chief Sally Hans Barbaso said the killers attempted to kill Rotoras previously and they were there in front of his house with the victim unaware of their presence.

Flowers and tributes pour for slain University of Science and Technology of the Philippines President Ricardo Rotoras on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Two gunmen murdered Rotoras outside his house in Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City last Dec. 2. Authorities are still investigating the case. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Barbaso said they arrived at this finding after learning that the killers built two ladders made of the coconut lumber to scale the fence of Golden Glow Subdivision in Upper Carmen here where the victim lives.

“They were already in front of the house of Rotoras nights before the actual killing,” Barbaso said.

He said the killers left the first ladder beside the fence, which a watchman found and removed.

Barbaso said the killers made another ladder which they used in scaling the fence last December 2.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has ordered the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation to catch the killers of Rotoras.

The Philippine National Police also formed a task force to solve the murder.

Mayor Oscar Moreno, the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines and the Cagayan de Oro City council offered P2.5 million for any information that could lead to the arrests of the killers and the mastermind.

The murder of Rotoras, a respected academician here, shocked several sectors in Cagayan de Oro.

Barbaso said the murder of Rotoras was “well-planned and funded” and executed by professional killers.

Students sit before a picture of University of Science and Technology of the Philippines President Ricardo Rotoras on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Two gunmen murdered Rotoras outside his house in Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City last Dec. 2. Authorities are still investigating the case. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

He said they are eyeing at least four perpetrators — two gunmen, a lookout and the driver of the getaway pickup vehicle.

He said they are also looking into the possibility that another accomplice, probably a lookout, was there to observe when Rotoras would leave the Christmas party of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.

“They studied his movements and probably made an attempt of his life earlier. When they failed, they made another attempt,” he said.

Barbaso declined to say what other leads the NBI was pursuing for fears it might jeopardize their investigation.

Police authorities said they are investigating four witnesses who saw two gunmen fleeing the scene. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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