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FIRING LINE: Vigilantism, not our culture

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

For whatever good intentions he had in whipping up a storm over the Furigay couple’s domination of politics and governance in Lamitan City, Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol had no right to snuff out any person’s life just to prove a point.

His vigilantism had turned murderous and unforgivable.

*         *         *

Five days after his crime, Dr. Yumol’s father Rolando is gunned down in front of their house in Lamitan.

I’ll repeat it: Vigilantism has no room in a civilized society. And clearly, the father should not pay for the sins of the son.

Anyone who thinks along the line of poetic justice or that “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” was in order, in this case, is not just demented but dangerous.

*         *         *

Former Basilan governor-now-Rep. Mujiv Hataman pointed out that netizens who raised comments for and against Dr. Yumol’s damning social media “exposes” on the Furigay couple could have fanned the flames of violence.

Ridiculous as it may sound to blame commenters and reactors for last week’s unspeakable crimes, it may be worth a self-assessment of how we exercise our freedom on social media.

Have we, for example, over the past years of the war on drugs, spoken against deadly violence or did we encourage it?

*         *         *

The Philippine National Police called on the public not to jump to conclusions or speculate that the hit on Dr. Yumol’s father is linked to the three murders carried out by his son.

Well, you can’t scrape that speculation off the books of Crime Investigation 101. That’s unless the PNP investigation is predisposed to look the other way and determined to go in that direction. Is it?

*         *         *

Dr. Yumol’s widowed mom, Muykim, told the media her family had received threats that they would be killed one by one and appealed to President Marcos to protect them.

I guess this could be a test case for our Commander-in-Chief. How well does he control the PNP, peace and order, security, and the political climate?

President Marcos, the unity campaigner, should be the first to say that vigilantism is not our culture.

*         *         *

Last Saturday morning, the Quezon City court trying Dr. Yumol’s cases ordered his detention transferred from Camp Karingal to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

I fear I must suggest tighter security – CCTV eyes at that – on Dr. Yumol’s cell. I heard lock-up suicides are pretty high over there or even severe-type COVID-19 infections like in Bilibid.

*         *         *

Meanwhile, the nation still mourns the death of former president Fidel V. Ramos. He succumbed to complications from COVID-19 last Sunday.

Juan Ponce Enrile must still be rocked to the core.

*         *         *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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