By Jairo Bolledo in Manila
A day before the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr in Quezon City, a shooting incident inside the Ateneo de Manila University claimed the lives of at least three individuals, including the former mayor of Lamitan, Basilan, Rose Furigay.
Furigay was supposed to attend the graduation of her daughter, Hannah, when she was shot about 3.30 pm yesterday. Furigay suffered gunshot wounds in her head and chest.
Graduation rites of the Ateneo Law School were cancelled by the university.
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Aside from Furigay, her long-time aide, Victor George Capistrano was also shot and died on the scene.
Ateneo security guard Jeneven Bandiala also died, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Brigadier-General Remus Medina said during his briefing on Sunday.
Hannah was also wounded in the incident and was immediately taken to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center. Medina said she was currently in stable condition.
Suspect Dr Chao Tiao Yumol was also wounded and suffered a gunshot wound. The police said they were still determining who shot the suspect.
The police recovered bullets and two guns — one with a silencer. Medina said Yumol used the gun with a silencer in killing the victims.
Yumol and his motive
Yumol, 38, is a general practitioner doctor and a native of Lamitan City. The police said the doctor had personal motives for killing Furigay.
“Initially, sa pagtatanong namin sa kanya, meron na silang long history ng away sa Lamitan, Basilan. So according to them, eh nagpapalitan na sila ng kaso. Itong si doktor naman ay laging nape-pressure sa pamilya ng Furigay. So lumalabas, personal ang away nila,” Medina said during his briefing.
(Initially, based on our interrogation of the suspect, they have a long history of conflict in Lamitan, Basilan. According to them, they filed cases against each other. The doctor was always pressured by the Furigay family. So it turned out that they had a personal conflict.)
Medina said Furigay filed 76 counts of cyber libel against Yumol, which temporarily prevented the suspect from practising medicine, according to the police. The suspect was detained for his libel cases, but was able to post bail, Medina added.
According to the QCPD director, Yumol also alleged that Furigay had a history of corruption:
“May ina-allege din si Doctor Yumol na katiwalian ng mayor. According to him, iyon po ang mga ina–allege niya, that is now subject for verification (Doctor Yumol is also alleging that the slain mayor was involved in corruption. According to him, that is what he is alleging, that is now subject for verification).”
The suspect was currently in the custody of the QCPD and undergoing custodial investigation.
No mention of human rights
Meanwhile, Rappler reports that was zero mention of human rights when Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr delivered his inaugural speech as president of the Philippines on June 30, and he went on to serve his first month in Malacañang without appointing anyone to the board vacancy of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
For his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) today, there is a mix of optimism and pessimism from the human rights community.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of international group Human Rights Watch, urged Marcos to seize the “chance to distance himself from the rampant rights violations and deep-seated impunity of the Rodrigo Duterte administration”.
“President Marcos has a golden opportunity to get the Philippines on the right track by setting out clear priorities and policies to improve human rights in the country,” Robertson said in a statement.
The progressive Filipino lawyer Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), in a forum that the human rights prospects under Marcos “quite candidly [do] not look good.”
Jairo Bolledo is a Rappler reporter. Republished with permission.