Editorial: That horrible Ateneo shooting

·3 min read

Anger, when not controlled, breeds violence, which either ends in physical disability or, worse, death of the targeted person or people. An angry man went to the Quezon City campus of Ateneo de Manila University, before its Law School graduation on Sunday, July 24, 2022, then gun-related violence happened.

Chao-Tiao Yumol, a doctor, arrived at the Ateneo campus with a firearm. He opened fire upon seeing his target, former Lamitan City, Basilan mayor Rose Furigay, reports said. The shooting led to the killing of the politician along with two other people and the wounding of Furigay’s daughter, who was among the Law School students in the scheduled graduation ceremony.

Before Yumol was caught, he had stolen a vehicle as he tried to escape. He has been indicted by the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office for criminal charges, the heaviest of which are the three counts of murder.

The Furigays’ lawyer Quirino Esguerra has told ABS-CBN News that Yumol had an axe to grind against Furigay as she had implemented the order to shut down the suspect’s clinic, which was situated across the Lamitan City Hall, for operating without a permit. After going out of business, Yumol turned to social media, posting allegations about the Furigays’ involvement in the illegal drug trade, which earned him over 70 cyber libel cases.

What’s disturbing with this case is, there are people who cheered Yumol’s spirit, some of whom are bloggers loyal to former President Rodrigo Duterte and his successor, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. A blogger wrote on social media: “Stay strong, Doc! Baka ngayon mapansin na ng gobyerno ang ipinaglaban mo (perhaps the government would now notice what you are fighting for).”

This pro-Marcos blogger should have known that President Bongbong Marcos himself condemned the gun-related violence. Possibly not doing thorough research, the blogger could have had no knowledge about the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission’s (PACC) dismissal of Yumol’s complaints against the Furigays due to lack of evidence and PACC having no jurisdiction. Yumol counter-attacked by filing a complaint against then PACC head Greco Belgica before the Office of the Ombudsman.

If a person believes someone is doing wrong, that person must not take the law into his own hands. If all citizens act in this manner, then the country would descend into chaos.

After his arrest, Yumol answered some questions in a televised ambush interview. He told reporters that the Furigays are drug lords in Basilan, and the couple targeted him for his revelations. If he’s really convinced that the Furigays are into drug trafficking, the suspect must have produced evidence. The accuser must be the one to produce solid evidence. Belief and doubt are not pieces of evidence.

What’s more horrible about this rare campus shooting is the fact that there are people who believe the gunman’s allegations without proof, and they unabashedly share them on social media.

[Facebook removed Yumol’s verified accounts on FB and Instagram a few days after the shooting, telling a news site that the shooting incident violates its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy.

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