Philippines University Shooting: Former Mayor, Two Others Killed; Police Arrest Suspect Who Was Native of Abu Sayyaf Stronghold

A former Manila mayor and two others were killed in a shooting in the Philippine capital region on Sunday. A gunman opened fire at Ateneo de Manila University in suburban Quezon City ahead of a graduation ceremony.

The ceremony has now been canceled and the university has been immediately put under lockdown.

Shooting at Ateneo de Manila University
Shooting at Ateneo de Manila University Twitter

Suspect Was Caught When He Tried To Escape

Police believe that it was an apparent attack on Rosita Furigay, a former mayor of Lamitan town on southern Basilan Island, who has been killed in the attack along with her aide and a university guard.

Furigay's daughter has also been injured in the attack and taken to hospital.

The suspect, who has been arrested, was armed with two pistols and a silencer. He was caught by officials as he tried to escape the university in a car.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Was To Attend The Ceremony

Quezon City police chief Brig. Gen. Remus Medina identified the suspect as a medical doctor who had a long dispute with Furigay.

So far, officials have not found any motive for the attack but they are investigating the matter.

The graduation ceremony was scheduled to be attended by some top-profile guests including Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.

Suspect Was Native Of Abu Sayyaf Stronghold

The suspect, who had no relatives at the graduation, was also a native of Lamitan city in Basilan province, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf, a pro-ISIS extremist group known for its banditry and kidnapping, reported Reuters.

Philippine President Bongbong Marcos has expressed shock and grief over the incident at the Ateneo graduation today. "We mourn with the bereaved, the wounded, and those whose scars from this experience will run deep."

Marcos stated that law enforcement agencies will thoroughly and swiftly investigate these killings and bring all involved to justice. "Our prayers go to the graduates, their families, the Ateneo community, and to the residents of Quezon City and Basilan."

This article was first published on July 24, 2022