Thorough probe into deadly Ateneo shooting vowed

Thorough probe into deadly Ateneo shooting vowed
Members of the Philippine National Police conduct an investigation into a shooting incident at the Ateneo de Manila University during a graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon, July 24, 2022.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines (Update 3, 6:53 p.m.) — Top officials on Sunday called for a swift resolution to a shooting at the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City on Sunday that led to the deaths of three people, including former Lamitan Mayor Rose Furigay.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued a statement within hours of the shooting, saying he was shocked and saddened by the attack.

"We commit our law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate the killings and bring all involved to justice," he also said.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte denounced the shooting incident, which happened before the graduation rites of Ateneo Law School (ALS). The graduation was to be held at an events center at the Loyola Heights campus.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported the shooting incident at Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) Gate 3 at 2:55 p.m. ALS was reportedly supposed to conduct its graduation ceremony at the Areté, which is located within the university campus.

"We request the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) to continue investigating this incident and ensure that swift justice be attained by the victims and their families," Belmonte said in a statement on Sunday.

“We also extend our sincerest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims who lost their lives in the incident.”

In a statement, Basilan Gov. Jim Hataman-Saliman said the province was "shocked and puzzled" by the shooting, saying also that former mayor Furigay did not have any known enemies.

"Hopefully, the authorities get the real motive because it appeared that she was really the target of the shooting," Saliman said.

"It was sad to the family and its 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 who was behind this crime will be unmasked," Saliman also said.

He also called on the people of Basilan to stay calm and to wait for the results of the investigation into the incident.

NCRPO names three dead

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) reported Furigay was declared dead on arrival at the World Citi Medical Center. Her daughter, Hannah Uy Furigay, is said to be getting medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Victor George Capistrano, who was identified as an executive assistant, died on the scene. A certain Jeneven Bandiola was also reported dead on arrival at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center on Katpinunan Extension.

Quezon City Mayor Belmonte said the suspect, who she identified as one Chao Tiao Yumul, is now under police custody. The NCRPO, however, named a different suspect — Ramil Nicomedez y Hermo of Bulacan.

Barangay Loyola Heights captain Don Hayes said the shooter was captured along Aurora Boulevard after a chase along Esteban Abada Street in nearby Varsity Hills Subdivision.

Reports of an active shooter on campus surfaced online Sunday afternoon, despite the gun ban that was supposed to be in place since last week. 

The GUIDON, Ateneo’s official student publication, said the campus had been placed under lockdown and shelter-in-place protocols were soon activated.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who was supposed to be the guest speaker at the ceremony, was on the way to the campus when the shooting incident happened.

"He was still in transit when the shooting happened and was advised to turn back. The Chief Justice is safe," Supreme Court spokesman Brian Hosaka said.

Meanwhile, National Bureau of Investigation have already dispatched agents “to proceed to [ADMU] to investigate and extend assistance to the victims and school authorities.” 

Following the incident, Belmonte said the Quezon city government along with other departments are working to ensure safety for the State of the Nation Address on Monday. — with reports from Kristine Joy Patag and Franco Luna, and The STAR/Roel Pareño

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