OVER a thousand people gathered in Greenhills Memorial Park last Friday, December 8, to witness for the last time Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, president of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) System and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), as he was finally laid to rest. Most of those who attended were students, faculty, and staff, while friends and relatives were in pain to see his coffin slowly covered with soil.
Those who attended wore white shirts, mostly with a print calling for “Justice for Dr. Ricardo Rotoras.” Now that he is buried, it cannot be helped that along with it is the possibility of not finding justice instead, because the case will lead into nowhere, and just like any killings where the perpetrators hired gunmen to do their bidding. Over time, it can be forgotten.
That is why before we forget, especially the investigating authorities will focus on the next big case, it is important that perpetrators need to be identified and more than just the gunmen being jailed, those masterminds who paid for them should be swept into prosecution.
Investigators claimed to have obtained a copy of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage where the perpetrators were believed to have seen inspecting the crime scene, in the subdivision where Rotoras resides, days prior to the December 2 incident. The problem was that the footage was blurry, and it requires further enhancement. We can only hope there is a computer software or technology that can do it here in Cagayan de Oro, for speedy results.
Wishing to believe that the police investigators and the National Bureau of Investigation already have setting their eyes on these “persons of interest,” and also hoping that their confidentiality of these information would lead to the identity of the perpetrators, again, especially to the mastermind.
Because definitely, he or she has the capacity to pay off more than one mercenaries to do the job, and the fact that they knew Rotoras’ residence and schedule of arriving there, were a tell-tale sign that these perpetrators knew the victim very well.
In Catholic tradition, there was a 40-day prayer after the dead was buried. Will investigators find the culprit within 40 days? Or within less than a year? Questions that may cause restless feelings, and probably doubts towards the investigators and the agencies they represent, and of course an additional disappointment to the justice system in general. Because if authorities can’t capture the assailants of a high-profile personality like Rotoras, finding the killers of those victims of other assassinations who are poor or not known in the society can be hardly resolved ever.
This alone, can be a close reflection that we are in, that despite government reforms we are haunted with the inability to put to justice those who have violated the laws, more so in cases of assassinations, may it be prominent personalities or an ordinary citizen. So, what now? Time is running fast, and the perpetrators might have escaped this country faster.