Probers now 'singling out' architect

INVESTIGATORS are now focusing their attention on architect Rey Galua as sole "person of interest" in the killing of state university president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras.

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), said the ongoing probe has lost interest on the three other suspects, including Engr. Selwyn Lao.

“Yes, Engr. Lao was among the persons of interest in the case, but the SITG has dropped him along with two others kay mas bug-at ang case build-up kang Galua,” said Hortillosa.

The two other suspects have not been identified by the police.

Lao is president of Manila-based Wing-An Construction and Development Corporation, which has a P200-million eight-story building construction project with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) being terminated under the supervision then of the murdered Rotoras.

Lao also exposed the alleged corrupt practices inside the state-owned university.

However, Hortillosa said Lao and the other two persons of interets may not have a hand in plotting the murder case compared to Galua, who was seen to have a "high" motive to do so because of the serious action initiated by the late Rotoras against him.

"Si Lao ug katong duha ka POI (persons of interest) dili nami interesado kay layo ra kaayo. Although dili pa totally but ang pinaka-kusog si Galua, that's why gi-confirm sa SITG nga siya ang primary POI kay ang motive taas kaayo kay gipapahawa sa trabaho ug gipatangtangan sa lisensya," Hortillosa said.

But the SITG spokesman said that as of February 14, authorities failed to obtain concrete evidence and proof against Galua.

"Dili pa gyud siya matawag nga suspect kay wala pay lig-on nga ebidensya busa mao na atong gi-establish para maka-file ta og kaso," Hortillosa said.

Hortillosa also said the result of the ballistic examination on Galua's firearms has yet to come out because the crime laboratory has only one ballistician that handles the entire Mindanao.

"Nadugay ang result sa ballistic exam kay usa ra ka ballistician unya tibuok Mindanao iyang gihawiran," Hortillosa said.

Meanwhile, the police again brought again Galua to the Lumbia City Jail on Tuesday evening, February 13, after jail officers insisted and showed a discharge order supposedly issued by Galua’s doctors.

Jail officers had gone to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) around 8 p.m., insisting Galua should be discharged after they secured a copy of his release order.

Galua had been staying at NMMC since January 29.

Lawyer Arturo Ubaub, Galua’s legal counsel, cried foul over the Bureau of Jail Management Penology’s (BJMP) move, calling it a mistake with the absence of a court resolution.

The Regional Trial Court Branch 24 has yet to decide on Ubaub’s motion to allow Galua to stay longer in the hospital for his heart condition.

Ubaub said jail officers and some other influential personalities may have pressured the doctors into signing Galua’s release order. He said there was only a stamp that says “discharged” but there was no signature of the doctors in the release order that the BJMP authorities showed him.

In the hearing last February 7, Ubaub presented Galua's doctors, Dr. Roy Sasil, Dr. Debra Urbina, and Dr. Franz Go, to testify on his clients medical condition.

All of three doctors testified that Galua's transfer to a jail facility would not endanger his life, pointing out that his vital signs are stable.

The doctors, however, suggested that there should be constant and regular monitoring of the patient's status, suggesting that a cardiologist should visit him once or twice a week, and that laboratory tests should be done at least every two weeks.

Galua is staying at the city jail infirmary.

The court is expected to decide on Galua's motion this Friday or next week.