Initial information from the family of slain victim, former Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay, appears that the attack at Ateneo de Manila University was due to a years-long enmity.
On Sunday, a physician resident of Lamitan, Basilan, identified as Chao Tiao Yumol, opened fire during the graduation ceremony of Ateneo Law School students in Quezon City.
The incident left three dead. The victims include the former mayor, her aide Victor George Capistrano and Ateneo’s security guard Jeneven Bandiola. Meanwhile, the former mayor’s daughter, Hannah and a bystander, got wounded and are recovering from the violence.
What the victims’ lawyer said
Furigay’s family lawyer Quirino Esguerra in an interview with ABS-CBN, said that the identified gunman, Yumol, has a personal grudge against Rose dating back as early as 2018.
“It all started when he was operating an infirmary clinic,” Esguerra said.
He said the then-mayor issued a cease-and-desist order on Yumol since he was operating his clinic across the Lamitan City Hall, without a permit.
“When she implemented that order from BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), dun nagalit yang si Chao Tiao Yumol,” the lawyer told the news network.
“Because of that he posted several malicious insinuations against the mayor, vice mayor and the city government employees leading to the filing of more than 70 cyber libel cases,” he added.
Esguerra said his posts against the Lamitan officials and employees are also posted on his verified Facebook account with thousands of followers.
He also said the slain mayor and the shooting suspect were supposed to attend a hearing on the cyber libel charges in Davao City.
In September 2019, Yumol surrendered to police over 26 counts of cyber libel. He was charged for maligning government workers on social media.
What Yumol said
Yumol claimed in a televised ambush interview that Rose and her husband, current Lamitan mayor Roderick Furigay are drug lords in Basilan. He also claimed that he has been a target of the Furigay couple because he had been exposing their supposed involvement in drugs.
“Tatlong beses akong pina-ambush ng pamilyang ito. ‘Pag pumunta kayo sa social media ko, makikita niyo ilang beses ako humingi ng tulong kasi pina-paambush nila ako. Sana ibalik ‘yung war on drugs, grabe ‘yung mga drug lords sa Mindanao lalo na sa Basilan,” he said.
In January 2021, Yumol’s complaint lodged before the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission led by Greco Belgica accusing local officials including Furigay was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
What the police said
Police Brig. Gen. Remus Medina, Quezon City Police District director, said he considers the shooting incident an isolated case after questioning the suspect because of the political motive.
The QCPD found two pistols under Yumol’s possession.
“He looks like he was a determined assassin,” Medina said.
Several personalities condemned the shooting incident and also paid tribute to the victims.
Rose is remembered for her dynamism and development-oriented policies. In her nine-year term, Lamitan received the DILG’s Seal of Good Local Governance award for four consecutive years.
“During her term, the City Government of Lamitan was in full bloom manifested by the several awards, recognition and achievements received given by the different award-giving bodies—regional and national,” the Basilan government said.
Meanwhile, Yumol is currently under police custody at Camp Karingal following his arrest on Sunday afternoon.