By Alex P. Vidal
“Peace does not include a vendetta; there will be neither winners nor losers.”—Ahmed Ben Bella
IN Hiligyanon (the dialect of Ilonggos), they call it “nag dulom ang panulok” (he lost his temper or self-control) or “nangita or nag pangita patas” (he wanted to get even).
This could have what happened to multiple murder suspect Chao-Tiao Yumol, a known humanitarian doctor in his community and whistle-blower in the drug trade in his hometown, according to the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance-Maharlika (FLAG-Maharlika).
Dr. Yumol is now in police custody after being arrested for allegedly gunning down former Lamitan City, Basilan mayor Rose Farugay, her assistant Victor George Capistrana, and Ateneo de Manila University security guard Jeneven Bandiala inside the Ateneo campus on July 24.
FLAG-Maharlika released the statement below dated July 24, 2022:
We, the members of the Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance-Maharlika (FLAG-Maharlika) would like to express our sympathy to the families of those who died and were injured in today’s shooting incident at the Ateneo de Manila University.
It is sad and sudden that we learned the suspected shooter, Dr. Chao-Tiao Yumul, a known humanitarian doctor in his community and whistle-blower in the drug trade in his hometown, approached our organization to help expose the alleged drug trade and corruption in Lamitan City.
Our organization assisted in providing free legal advice in his filing of charges against certain government officials for alleged corrupt practices.
WE strongly denounce the use of extra-judicial actions and violence. As FLAG-Maharlika advocates against malpractices in government, we also advocate peace and abhor the use of violence in the pursuit for a better Philippines. This is why we advocate strongly for judicial reforms so justice may be served swiftly.
We pray for the families of all those concerned and that justice may be swift so lives can move forward in peace.
If Dr. Yumol may have committed the horrendous crime as an act of vendetta probably for being exasperated after receiving about 74 counts of cyberlibel from the ex-mayor’s family for lambasting them in his social media posts and accusing them of corruption and alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Dr. Yumol’s allegations made during a brief media presentation by the Quezon City police on July 25 have already been debunked by the family’s lawyer.
Fellow elected officials in Basilan described the slain ex-mayor as “good public servant.”
His spat with the Farugay family reportedly resulted in the closure of his clinic. As the saying goes, “You can’t fight City Hall.”
The cyberlibel cases themselves were cruel and a heavy burden to him as a doctor or to anyone who has lost a livelihood and be made to post a bail and become fugitive as a result.
If it was a retaliatory attack, Dr. Yumol’s method was wrong and grossly irrational brought by an extremely irrational anger.
We are not in his shoes when he faced all the troubles and inconveniences brought by the closure of his clinic and the cyberlibel cases he had to tackle in multiple courts in Basilan, but we could have advised him to cool down and let the wheel of justice move since the cases were already “in the proper forum” so to speak.
Violence and murder shouldn’t be the best options if he only wanted to get even no matter how Dr. Yumol justified what he did.
In 1999, dirty and abusive local politicians, abetted by corrupt and inept rattlesnakes in the prosecution office, ribbed us with ridiculous libel cases that reached a gut-wrenching 38 counts.
The intention was really to bring us on all four if we based the amount of bail for each count our publication had to fork out.
There was no personal war like in the Yumol-Farugay l’affaire. It was plain and simple harassment and persecution to boot anywhere you would scrutinize it.
Instead of doing a Dr. Yumol, we let the wheel of both KARMIC and human justices took their courses. We won and history became cruel for all those dirty politicians and corrupt and inept PERsecutors.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)