Daughter of slain former Lamitan City mayor speaks up

·3 min read
Shooting suspect Dr. Chao-Tiao Yumol (left) and Kelsey Furigay, daughter of slain Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay. (Photos: Parang Yumol – MPS/Facebook; Furigay – Irish Jane Mariano Sirilan/Facebook)
Shooting suspect Dr. Chao-Tiao Yumol (left) and Kelsey Furigay, daughter of slain Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay. (Photos: Parang Yumol – MPS/Facebook; Furigay – Irish Jane Mariano Sirilan/Facebook)

In an “open letter” posted on her Instagram account, Kelsey Furigay, daughter of slain former Lamitan City, Basilan Mayor Rose Furigay, appealed for sobriety in light of her mother’s killing, and cleared rumors about their family’s involvement on the killing of the father of her mother’s alleged killer.

She decried the “huge troll problem on Facebook and social media” directed at their family by the supporters and sympathizers of Dr. Chao-Tiao Yumol, who she claimed were threatening them with death threats.

“Which is why I decided today to not be silent, and I will fight for what’s left – my mom’s good name,” Kelsey said.

Alleged involvement in illegal drug trade

The younger Furigay said that contrary to what Yumol has been spewing relentlessly in his social media accounts, her family is not, and has never been involved in the illegal drug trade, and they were even cleared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“On Sept. 20, 2019, the [Philippine National Police]’s Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) based in Camp Crame issued a certification that cleared the Furigays of involvement in the drug trade. Police Lt. Col. Crisle T. Cainong signed the certification as officer in charge of the DEG,” she said.

“And yet another certification came the way of the Furigays dated Jan. 15, 2021 … It was signed by Blanquera Azurin, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao,” Kelsey added.

Shutting down of Yumol’s clinic

According to her, Yumol’s quibble towards her late mother was a personal one, after his clinic was closed down by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government for failing to secure a license to operate.

“Four licensing officers of the Regulations, Licensing Enforcement Cluster of BARMM’s Ministry of Health signed the order. In other words, the Furigays were not yet in the picture,” she claimed.

Afterwards, she said that since Yumol still failed to comply after he was given a cease and desist order, her mother who was then the mayor had to close down his clinic, upon the recommendation of BARMM Minister of Health Dr. Saffrullah M. Dipatuan in July 2019.

Kelsey said that on July 25, 2022—a day after the Ateneo shooting incident—Mayor Rose and Yumol are scheduled to attend a hearing in a court in Davao City for her more than 60 cyberlibel cases against him.

The stress of not being able to practice his career due to the cases filed by the former Lamitan mayor got to Yumol’s psyche so much that he decided to take matters into his own hands, Kelsey said, referencing an article published by the Manila Bulletin.

Killing of Yumol’s father

Kelsey also cleared up rumors that her family is behind the killing of Yumol’s father.

“The Furigays have nothing to do with the shooting of Yumol’s father,” Kelsey said. “In fact, we are encouraging thorough investigation to bring justice.”

“No human has a right to take another. What did his father do to us? Nothing. It is his son’s actions and not his,” she said.

According to her, as soon as they learned of the killing, his father, incumbent Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay summoned authorities to thoroughly investigate the ones behind the crime.

“We beg the people & the country … NO MORE. With everything going on, we need to unite and work together, not hate each other,” Kelsey ended.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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