By Robert B. Roque, Jr.
For a mayor who worked through her term to bring her city to progress never before seen, Lamitan City’s famed daughter Rose Furigay did not deserve her ending last Sunday.
Furigay, who served three consecutive terms as mayor of Basilan’s capital, was gunned down by a shooter known to her at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City right before her daughter’s graduation ceremony.
In her last state of the city address last March, Furigay reported an average growth rate of 20 percent over the eight years of her incumbency. Business enterprises have grown by 60.6 percent, thanks to her Business One Stop Shop (BOSS). She was previously reelected unopposed, and in last May’s polls, her track record as mayor easily got her husband, Roderick, elected to continue her legacy of good leadership.
Firing Line condemns her bloody death at the hands of a violent man, who also went on to kill her long-time executive assistant, Victor George Capistrano, and Ateneo campus security guard, Jeneven Bandiola, during his mad rush to escape the crime scene.
Furigay’s daughter, Hannah Rose, did not deserve this on the day of her graduation from Ateneo Law School, either. Yet, she was wounded in the attack and nearly suffered the same fate as her mother.
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The suspect, identified by the police as Basilan-based physician Chao Tiao Yumol, 38, has a long history of filing complaints against the former mayor. After being arrested, he had the gall to justify his actions by telling the media that the Furigays were involved in the illegal drug trade.
As records show, he has made this claim multiple times in the past and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission investigated his accusations against the Furigays in 2018. However, when the PACC dismissed the complaint for lack of evidence, Yumol filed a graft case against its commissioner, Greco Belgica, before the Ombudsman.
This strange doctor has also claimed that the Furigays were behind three attempts on his life, including an ambush of the vehicle he was driving in Zamboanga City in 2020. But there is no actual evidence he could show for.
Recently, though, Furigay supposedly ordered the closure of his clinic in Lamitan City – perhaps, the only proof Yumol has of the political family’s animosity towards him. Still, that is no reason for him to end the life of another human being.
Yumol, as it turns out, is no saint, as 26 cybercrime charges have been filed against him before a court in Zamboanga City for maligning several local government unit personalities in Lamitan. This is one very angry doctor who had no business carrying guns, much less using them to kill anyone he dislikes within the premises of a catholic university.
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