The legal counsel of the late former Lamitan City Mayor Rosita “Rose” Furigay on Thursday, August 4, said that they will ensure the conviction of Dr. Chao-Tiao Yumol, the suspect in the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) shooting incident last July 24.
“If we will follow the latest circular of the Supreme Court regarding speedy trial, this trial may not last for more than six months,” lawyer Quirino Esguerra, Furigay’s legal counsel, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday, August 4.
“We will prosecute him to the fullest and ensure his conviction considering again his admission on national televisions and radio that he committed those crimes,” he added
Yumol gunned down the former mayor and two other victims – Victor Capistrano, the former mayor’s aide; and Jeneven Bandiala, an ADMU security guard during the graduation of law students inside the campus on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City on July 24. The former mayor’s daughter, Hannah, was also wounded.
The Quezon City Prosecutor’s office indicted Yumol on July 27 with multiple cases – three counts of murder; frustrated murder; malicious mischief; violations of Republic Act 10883 (Anti-Carnapping Law) and RA 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition).
The suspect had earlier entered a “not guilty” plea when he was arraigned for the illegal possession of firearms and malicious mischief cases filed against him at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 133.
Esguerra said their camp was surprised that Yumol filed a “not guilty” plea.
“In his admission on national television that he did that on account of allegations that my client is involved in drugs, we are surprised why he is still putting up a defense of denial and/or a plead of ‘not guilty’ considering that he was caught red handed, in his possession were a .45 caliber pistol with suppressor and/or silencer, and together with that .is the 9 mm pistol which is registered under his name,” Esguerra said.
He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is investigating how the suspect acquired the .45 caliber pistol that was reported to be registered under the name of a Philippine Army officer and was reportedy lost in Sulu in November 2019.
The arraignment for the three counts of murder and frustrated murder cases filed against Yumol was supposed to be held at the QC Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 98 on Thursday.
However, the hearing was later reset by the QC RTC to Sept. 16 due to the mental state of the accused.
In the interview, Esguerra said they expect that the camp of Yumol will also file a not guilty plea for the three counts of murder and frustrated murder charges.
“Practically, we have no less than three eye witnesses. We have the autopsy report, we have the S.O.C.O (Scene of the Crime Operatives) report, we have witnesses also as to the shooting not only of the mayor, but as to the shooting also of the guard in Ateneo De Manila,” he said.
He added that Yumol was supposed to sign an extrajudicial confession but he later withdrew.
Esguerra also said that his clients have certifications from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) that cleared them from involvement in the illegal drug trade.
The lawyer also said that Hannah is in stable condition but is still recuperating from the gunshot wounds that she sustained.
The former mayor’s remains were buried in Lamitan, Basilan on Wednesday, Aug. 3.