Marcos calls for swift probe into Ateneo shooting

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos calls for swift probe into Ateneo shooting
A police officer collects evidence by a pool of blood after three people were killed in a shooting at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, suburban Manila, on July 24, 2022. Three people were killed July 24 in a rare shooting at a university in Quezon City, in what appears to have been a targeted political assassination.
AFP / Maria Tan

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos yesterday called for a swift investigation into a shooting incident in Quezon City that left three persons dead, including former Lamitan, Basilan mayor Rose Furigay.

In a post on Facebook, Marcos expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting, which happened inside the Ateneo de Manila University.

“We are shocked and saddened by the events at the Ateneo graduation today. We mourn with the bereaved, the wounded and those whose scars from this experience will run deep,” Marcos said.

The President vowed justice to the families of the three fatalities, including an Ateneo campus security guard and Furigay’s executive assistant Victor Capistrano.

“We commit our law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate these killings and bring all involved to justice,” he said.

“Our prayers go to the graduates, their families, the Ateneo community, and to the residents of Quezon City and Basilan,” Marcos said.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also condoled with victims’ families and friends.

‘Basilan shocked’

Basilan Gov. Jim Hataman-Saliman described the incident as “shocking” as he called on police authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of Furigay’s killing.

“Basilan is shocked and puzzled,” he said.

Saliman, who immediately went to the family of Furigay in Lamitan City to console them and find more information about the incident, said the province was in grief and disbelief.

Furigay and her driver were killed while her daughter and another man were reportedly wounded when shot by a male suspect with a handgun.

The suspect, who attempted to escape, was captured and brought to police authorities at Camp Karingal in Quezon City.

“It was sad for the family and it was sad that her daughter (would be) graduating because she was there to attend the graduation rites. We hope that justice will be rendered and the ones behind the crime will be unmasked. I believe somebody ordered the killing,” Saliman said.

Furigay, who recently completed two terms, had no known enemy as Lamitan mayor.

Furigay, during the inaugural of her husband Roderick who succeeded her as mayor last June 30, had told reporters that she wanted to return to being a private citizen.

Saliman called on his constituents in Basilan to stay calm and wait for authorities to complete the investigation, and “hopefully justice will be rendered.”

Former House deputy speaker Mujiv Hataman, who represents the lone Basilan district, expressed his shock over the incident.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the fatal shooting of former Lamitan City mayor Rose Furigay, and that of her bodyguard and a security personnel, in the Ateneo de Manila University,” the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor said.

The Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) yesterday also condemned the shooting incident at the Ateneo de Manila.

“The DILG sincerely sympathizes with the family of the victims of this unfortunate incident as we assure them that we will strengthen the case against the suspect, file the necessary charges, and ensure that the suspect will languish behind bars,” the department said in a statement.

The DILG commended the Quezon City Police District and the Anonas Police Station “for their swift action that led to the immediate arrest of the suspect.”

Ateneo denounces killing

The Ateneo de Manila University expressed its strong condemnation of the shooting incident at their Areté facility in Loyola Heights.

“Thankfully, the suspect was apprehended by the police shortly after, and is now in the custody of the Quezon City Police District,” Ateneo said yesterday in a statement.

“Ateneo de Manila University extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. There is no acceptable reason for violence. We hope and pray that justice will be swiftly served,” the university stressed.

“The incident has robbed the members of the Law School class of 2022 of what was supposed to be a joyous celebration. The University and the Law School administration are assisting students, staff and guests who are dealing with trauma from the incident,” Ateneo said.

“The Loyola Heights campus was immediately secured. The University assures the community that its campuses are safe, and security protocols are now being reviewed and strengthened further,” Ateneo said. “We appeal to the public to be careful in spreading unconfirmed information and rumors surrounding this incident.” – Roel Pareño, Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Delon Porcalla, Rainier Allan Ronda

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