/ 18 September 2021

OFFICIALS and students of the Mindanao State University condemned the killing of two students inside its main campus in Marawi City last Tuesday, September 14.

Hamza Rauf and Zinal Omar were shot by a suspected gun-for-hire near the graduate school building.

Lt. Col. Nelson Madiwo, Marawi city police chief, said witnesses saw two suspects on board a motorcycle with no plate number at the crime scene.

Madiwo said authorities are conducting pursuit operations against the suspects.

“In the harshest terms, the MSU-Main Campus Administration and the entire appalled community condemn the insensate fatal shooting of two students yesterday. This abominable act of violence is an assault on the Ideals that we as a civilized, God-fearing and peace-loving Muslim community live by,” MSU president Dr. Habib Macaayong said.

“The University expresses its heartfelt condolences and sympathy for the bereaved families as they deal with their loved ones’ untimely and tragic demise,” he added.

Macaayong said that the university will help discover the truth “to bring the perpetrators before the bar of justice.”

Macaayong said he and other school officials were “grieving, dismayed, and outraged” because the campus should have been a safe space for students.

“These two young men have come to MSU because they had dreams for themselves and their families, and it is dismaying and frustrating that these dreams have been destroyed by a senseless taking of their lives,” he added.

Macaayong also appealed for calm and sobriety and urged the public to avoid “wanton speculations that could only sow confusion and spread fear or panic.”

Meanwhile, MSU’s student publication the Mindanao Varsitarian joined calls for justice for Rauf and Omar.

“The Mindanao Varsitarian strongly condemns the heinous killing of two innocent MSU students on evening of September 14, 2021 (Tuesday) at MSU-Main Campus. We deeply mourn with the bereaved families. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un,” it said in a statement.

The campus paper urged school officials to tighten security measures to stop killings inside the university.

“As a student-friendly institution, the Mindanao State University should uphold outmost peace and security among its students and staff. Such cases not only stain the good image of the university, but also result to fear among students and hinder them from continuing their usual lives within the campus vicinity,” MSU Varsitarian said.