FOUR days after he was arrested by police, Rey Galua, a ‘person of interest’ in the murder of state university president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, is still lying in a hospital bed in an undisclosed hospital in the city.
Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) spokesperson, said following doctor's advise, Galua will remain under hospital arrest until the 43 year-old architect is declared fit to be held in a regular detention facility.
"Basta doctor's advise, respetohan nato (If it is advised by the doctor, we will respect it)," Hortillosa said.
But Hortllosa said they are seeking a second medical opinion regarding Galua’s medical status.
Galua was admitted to the hospital after complaining of chest pains soon after undergoing inquest proceedings Wednesday, January 10.
Galua was arrested by authorities for illegal possession of firearms and explosives early Tuesday, January 9.
Police later admitted Galua was one a ‘person of interest’ in the December 2, 2017 murder of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras.
Galua, a former faculty member of USTP’s College of Architecture, owns an architectural firm, RD Galua Associates, which holds office at Mandumol Street, Macasandig, this city.
According to its website, the firm was established in 1998 and is "dedicated to providing a diversified range of services from space planning and design, to project development and management as well as consultancy services not only for architectural design but also for sustainable development".
Galua was also once a sector president of the Philippine Institute of Architects in Cagayan de Oro.
Galua’s profile in the U.S Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation, Galua was born in San Roque, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.
Galua is said to be interested in running for mayor in his hometown in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, Kitcharao in the next elections.
He finished the degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Cagayan de Oro College in 1997. He later took further studies at Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology where he finished his Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development Studies in 2007.
A fellow architect in the city who requested anonymity said Galua is known mostly because of his work in USTP where he designed the university’s gymnasium, engineering building, Science complex, Information and Communication Technology building.
Galua also designed the unfinished student center building.
Aside from the USTP buildings, Galua’s list of accomplishments include penning architectural designs for the Buenavista Community Hospital in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, a 6-storey building in barangay Bulua, this city, and another commercial building in Tiano-Pacana streets, also in this city.
He also designed commercial buildings in Zamboanga del Norte, and Libertad in Butuan City, including a dormitory of a school in Argao, Cebu.
One of his students at the USTP who also requested anonymity said, Galua was a "good and a cool teacher".
"We learned a lot from his subjects. He was cool, and not strict, he was usually considerate. He was close to us students because he initiates outings, site visits site tours, and he gives free snacks to his students," he said.
Meanwhile, the Rotoras family is appealing to possible witnesses to come forward saying the witnesses will be protected by authorities.
Eldie Rotoras, the older brother of murdered university president said the person who could provide reliable information could become a millionaire as the P2.5 million reward is still up for grabs.
Eldie said even the driver of the Nissan Navarra which was used to pick up the gunmen is also qualified to receive the reward if he or she turn himself in and cooperate with police investigators to solve the crime.
"Since the day my brother was murdered up until now, we haven't gotten a sound and nice sleep knowing that the gunmen are still out there, roaming around freely," he said.
Eldie assured that witnesses should not worry of their safety because the police vowed to secure them and their identity.
Eldie said his family was happy with the fast developments of his brother's case, pointing out that there hopes are up that the case is close to its solution.
Authorities showed the facial composite sketch of the "possible witness" to the case during the press briefing on Friday, January 12.
Police said the woman may have witnessed the university president’s murder.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 14, 2018.