Editorial: Domino effect of violence

·2 min read

Just five days after Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) shooting suspect Chiao-Tao Yumol was arrested, his father Rolando Yumol was shot dead outside his home in Lamitan City, Basilan on Friday morning, July 29, 2022.

Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot Rolando at least four times, hitting him in different parts of his body.

Though the Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet to complete its investigation on Rolando’s killing and it said it’s “speculative” to link the incident to the Ateneo shooting, one could not help but think that Rolando’s death could be a case of vengeance killing, related to what the younger Yumol had done—the shooting to death of former Lamitan City mayor Rose Furigay and two other people, namely Furigay’s aide Victor Capistrano and the school security guard Jeneven Bandiala. Furigay’s daughter Hannah, a graduating law student, was wounded in the rare on-campus shooting.

Yumol is now facing multiple criminal charges in court for his involvement in the fatal AdMU shooting. If convicted for the three counts of murder, he could be facing multiple life sentences. Before he attacked the Furigays, the doctor had been charged with over 70 cyber libel cases for allegedly spewing lies about Rose Furigay and her husband Roderick, the current Lamitan mayor, on social media, mostly on Facebook, that the couple were involved in the illegal drug trade and corruption. The allegations came after Rose, then the Lamitan City mayor in 2018, implemented the order that closed Yumol’s clinic, which operated without a permit.

The other cases filed against the doctor were frustrated murder, carnapping and illegal possession of firearms.

As for the suspect’s firearms, police recovered a 9mm pistol registered to Chao-Tiao with an expired license and a .45 pistol with silencer registered to a Philippine Army officer in Patikul, Sulu. The soldier told the police that his gun had been missing since November 2019.

Could the AdMU shooting have been prevented had the police acted right away on the doctor’s expired firearm registration? The PNP has a database on licensed gun owners and it has an extensive campaign on loose firearms. Could the attack also have been prevented if the soldier’s missing gun (if what he was saying was true) had been recovered right away?

Violence begets violence; however, killing someone who is innocent is never right; killing someone just because the person is kin to a man who had committed murders is beyond evil.

There is no justice in revenge killing. It will only keep the domino effect of violence going, perpetuating a culture of violence that has long beset this country.

The PNP has a duty to solve the murder of Rolando Yumol and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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