The Furigay-Yumol Feud
July 30, 2022
My deepest condolences to the relatives of Rose Furigay, Victor Capistrano and Jeneven Bandiala for the loss of their respective loved ones last Sunday in the Ateneo. I also pray for the speedy recovery of Hannah Furigay and the others who were physically hurt during those terrible moments, as well as those who were emotionally wounded.
And my deepest condolences also go to Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, on the shooting death yesterday of his father, Rolando, in Lamitan, Basilan.
Dr. Yumol was admittedly responsible for all the deaths and the pain at the Ateneo. No one has as yet admitted responsibility for Rolando’s death, although the Lamitenos seem to know. Will his murderers be brought to justice? I doubt it. That’s how it is.
What is not clear is whether there were extenuating circumstances in the Ateneo event. Is he mentally deranged, or was he temporarily insane? Or is what happened in Ateneo last Sunday the culmination of events that started with an abuse of political power and a citizen driven to despair? Or, a combination of both, did he lose his mind because of what he was undergoing?
Only an expert can determine Yumol’s mental state. But for us average juans and juanas, what makes the case for mental illness is that he apparently posted vitriolic, irrational remarks against Leni, including a witchcraft (mangkukulam) doll in pink. On the other hand, that could be because he is a staunch supporter of BBM, and previously, Duterte. Unfortunately, one cannot refer to Yumol’s Facebook page for help, because it has been deleted by Facebook.
The case for his sanity, I think, is made when he tried to grab the tricycle from its driver, during his attempt to escape. When the driver refused to let go, Yumol easily could have shot him, but did not. He just ran away. So he obviously was pretty sane then. Or maybe just wasn’t a cold-blooded murderer.
Furthermore, in our decision-making process, we should also be sure of the sequence of the shootings. Did he shoot Mrs. Furigay first, and then Capistrano (an executive aide, or presumably her bodyguard, why should she have a Lamitan City government employee at her side?) and then Hannah? Or did he shoot Capistrano first and then Mrs. Furigay? Was Hannah herself a targeted victim? Or did she just get in the way? And what were the circumstances that led to the shooting of Jeneven Bandiala?
The sequence of the shootings, I think, will make a difference as to whether we will decide he is deranged, or whether he just wanted to get at Mrs. Furigay, and people got in the way. Was Bandiala collateral damage because he got in Yumol’s way?
Then there is another thing that niggles at me. We have heard only one version of the Furigay-Yumol “feud”, and that is from Atty. Quirino Esguerra, who said in an interview with ABS-CBN, that (1) it started in 2018, when the BARRM ordered the infirmary clinic of Dr. Yumol closed, because he was operating without a permit, and he got angry at Mayor Rose Furigay because she was enforcing the order; (2) that from then, Dr. Yumol accused the Furigays of corruption and drug-dealing, and that the Furigays had filed “more than 70 cyberlibel suits against Yumol; (3) that Rose Furigay was a multi-awarded local government unit official, getting 4 consecutive Seal of Good Local Governance awards during her 9 year watch (the other awards were not named).
I’d like to hear Dr. Yumol’s version of this feud. But I cannot help but ask: Did Dr. Yumol, the owner of the infirmary/clinic (right in front of the Lamitan City Hall, according to Esguerra), just operate without bothering to get a permit, or did he apply for a permit and he was refused or given the run-around? It makes a big difference.
And I cannot believe that the BARRM would close an operating infirmary out of hand – that would imply that Lamitan (2015 population 74, 782) is so blessed with infirmaries (defined as a hospital or facility serving as a hospital) and health personnel that the BARRM could afford to close one out of hand? And if it could, wouldn’t it be standard operating procedure for the BARRM to ask the advice/recommendation of the Lamitan City government before it even makes a move? Yet the lawyer makes it appear that the Lamitan City government had no hand in the matter at all.
It is also hard to believe that an MD would so stupidly operate an infirmary without bothering to secure a permit.
Be that as it may, it is clear that Yumol became a severe critic of Mayor Furigay in social media. And Furigay, according to her counsel, filed more than 70 cyberlibel cases against him. Lawfare. No disrespect intended, but wasn’t that an overreaction? Especially if, as Esguerra claims, the city was in such good shape that its citizens (2015 population 74,782) must have known that Yumol was talking through his hat?
Anyway, as a result of some of those suits, Yumol was jailed in 2019, I don’t know for how long (we should find out). Not only that, he claims in social media that he was attacked on Nov.3, 2020 and had to be hospitalized with fractured bones in his face where he was hit – there are pictures and documents — with his assailant supposedly saying “Last warning mo na yan galling sa magasawang Furigay”.
In effect, Reader, he was deprived of his livelihood, he was jailed, he was physically assaulted. And he lays the blame on the Furigays, who have controlled Lamitan since 2004 – 9 years of him, then 9 years of her, then now, it is he again – Roderick Furigay has just been elected mayor. A real political dynasty.
What would you do if you were in Yumol’s place?
And to top it all, his father has just been killed in Lamitan. With talk rife about family feuds, or rido, although I thought that rido was a muslim custom.
As I see it, Yumol felt that he had to take the law in his own hands. That is wrong. But the Furigays may have resorted to “rule by law,” instead of “rule of law”, where the former refers to the executive use of law and of bureaucracy as an instrument of power.
Arguably, that is even more wrong.
Deleted Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/chaoyumol/ https://www.facebook.com/TheeeeeeChaoYumol
Atty. Quirino Esguerra Interview: https://twitter.com/_katrinadomingo/status/1551170411278532608?s=20&t=Fc_KL6LEMrC0v8KWiu_A6A
2019 Petition to free Chao-Tiao Yumol: https://www.change.org/p/president-rodrigo-duterte-free-doc-chao-tiao-yumol-from-imprisonment
Attack on Nov. 3, 2020: forwarded facebook screenshots