Ex-mayor, 2 others killed in Ateneo | Inquirer News

Ex-mayor, 2 others killed in Ateneo

The alleged gunman, who was arrested, appeared to have a grudge against former Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay who earlier sued him for cyberlibel, resulting in his suspension as a doctor, according to police.

MANILA, Philippines — The grounds of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, turned into a crime scene around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday after a man shot and killed three people, one of them a former city mayor in Basilan province, who was there to see her daughter graduate from law school.

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Former Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Also killed were her longtime executive assistant, Victor Capistrano, and AdMU security guard Jeneven Bandiala, Quezon City police chief, Brig. Gen. Remus Medina, said in a press briefing afterward.

Furigay’s daughter, 25-year-old Hannah Rose, was wounded along with a bystander. She was among the Ateneo School of Law students who were on campus for the commencement exercises scheduled at 4 p.m. at the Areté building. It was the first in-person graduation ceremony on campus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Gunman’s motive

According to Medina, Furigay and her daughter were walking into the Areté lobby when the suspect opened fire.

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who was the guest speaker, had yet to arrive at that time.

“He was still in transit when the shooting happened and was advised to turn back,” Supreme Court spokesperson, lawyer Brian Hosaka, told reporters.

The gunman, identified by the police as Chao Tiao Yumol, was captured after a brief chase on nearby Aurora Boulevard.

“He commandeered a vehicle which he did not own. He rammed the crowd and people went after him as well. It caused a traffic jam and he was arrested when he made a turn on Aurora Boulevard,” Medina said.

He added that the 38-year-old suspect—a doctor who was also from Lamitan City—appeared to have a grudge against Furigay who had filed cyberlibel cases against him. This resulted in Yumol’s suspension, preventing him from practicing his profession.

Medina told reporters that the doctor had surrendered to the Bangsamoro police in 2019 in connection with 26 cyberlibel charges he was facing.

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Chao Tiao Yumol, suspect in Ateneo shooting. STORY:

FOILED ESCAPE | Suspect Chao Tiao Yumol commandeered a car after the attack inside the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City but was captured by a crowd of bystanders, whom he tried to run over, on Aurora Boulevard after a brief chase. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Tired of politics

Reportedly a self-styled anti-drug crusader, Yumol even filed a graft and corruption charge against then Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Greco Belgica for allegedly coddling drug suspects.

He supposedly told the police that he killed Furigay because he believed she was involved in the drug trade in Basilan province.

Yumol was armed with two pistols: a Rock Island .45 caliber with a silencer and a Ruger 9mm despite an ongoing gun ban in Metro Manila as part of the police’s security precautions for Monday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Furigay served three terms as Lamitan mayor. Before stepping down last month, she told the Inquirer in an interview that she was tired of politics.

“I want to live a civilian life, a mother to my three daughters,” she said in a chance interview during the inaugural rites on June 30 for her husband and successor, Roderick Furigay.

“It has been nine years since I’ve been in politics. Right now, I just want to be a doting mother; definitely no more politics for me,” said the official who was often described as soft-spoken, friendly and approachable.

According to Furigay, her dream was to leave public office with pride and a smile.

“(For) people to remember me not just as a mayor but also as a friend, a mother, a sister. I am a happy person, so I also want to bring smiles to our people,” she said.

In her March 16 State of the City Address, Furigay thanked her constituents and told them she did not waste their votes and trust in her.

“There are times when leading a city, managing its affairs is a test of your will, wits and guts, and also patience. But most of the time, it has been a truly rewarding experience for me,” she said.

In a statement, Ateneo said it strongly condemned the shooting and vowed to cooperate with authorities during the investigation.

It also promised to extend help to students, staff and guests who may be dealing with trauma after the incident.

“It has robbed the members of the Law School Class of 2022 of what was supposed to be a joyous celebration,” the university said.

“The Loyola Heights campus was immediately secured. The University assures the community that its campuses are safe, and security protocols are now being reviewed and strengthened further,” it added.

The National Bureau of Investigation also sent a team of agents to Ateneo to look into the shooting incident and assist the victims and school authorities, said Mico Clavano, a lawyer with the justice secretary’s office.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., meanwhile, denounced the incident, expressed his sympathies to the bereaved and wounded, and called for a speedy investigation of the case.

“We are shocked and saddened by the events at the Ateneo graduation today. We mourn with the bereaved, the wounded, and those whose scars from this experience will run deep,” he said in a statement issued by the Office of the Press Secretary.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also condemned the shooting, saying it “has no place in our society….”

“We request the Quezon City Police District to continue investigating this incident and ensure that swift justice be attained by the victims and their families,” she said.

She added that the city would work harder to further strengthen security during Monday’s Sona and strictly enforce the gun ban that had been in place since Friday.

—WITH REPORTS FROM FRANCES MANGOSING, TINA G. SANTOS AND JEROME ANING

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