MANILA — The suspect in the shooting incident in Ateneo de Manila University that left three people dead, including former Lamitan City mayor Rose Furigay, is a fugitive, a lawyer said Monday.
Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, 38, has been hiding from authorities since January last year for jumping bail on cyberlibel cases, said lawyer Quirino Esguerra, spokesperson of the Furigay family.
"Itong akusado, itong gunman na ito ay a fugitive or in hiding since January 2021. Nag-jump po ito ng bail," he told TeleRadyo.
"Kami po ay nagtataka bakit hindi ito nahuli. Meron po siyang 8 warrants of arrest — 7 sa cyberlibel cases, 1 case dun sa indirect contempt."
Several cyberlibel complaints were filed against Yumol after he accused the family of being involved in the illegal drug trade.
This came after Yumol's infirmary clinic in Lamitan City, Basilan was shut down by the local government for operating without permission from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Esguerra.
Yumol was also held liable for indirect contempt after making "malicious" posts against the judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 12 in Zamboanga City, the lawyer said.
The judge ordered 2 months imprisonment and a fine of P30,000 against Yumol, he added.
The complaints have been transferred to Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in Davao City where Yumol reportedly attends the hearings through virtual conferencing.
In the interview, Esguerra reiterated the accusations against the Furigay family were baseless.
"Wala po siyang nailalabas na mga ebidensiya sa mga paratang niya kay [incumbent Lamitan] mayor Roderick Furigay, pati kay [former Lamitan] mayor Rose Furigay. 'Yan po ay puro kathang isip niya," he said.
The family has no threats to their lives before Sunday's shooting in ADMU.
Esguerra said the Furigay family was "devastated" over what happened.
"He's (Roderick) really devastated. Ang pamilya ay labis na nalulungkot sa pangyayaring ito," he said. "Ang karumaldumal na krimen ay nagawa pa sa loob ng compound ng Ateneo De Manila University."
The couple was attending their daughter's graduation from the Ateneo Law School.
Twenty-five-year-old Hannah Rose Marian Furigay sustained gunshot wounds in the head and the abdomen. She is recuperating in the hospital and is in stable condition
Also killed were the ex-mayor's long-time aide, Victor Capistrano, and ADMU security guard Jeneven Bandiala.