Claim: Ateneo gunman was supposed to be the new DOH Secretary
A month before he allegedly shot dead three people at the Ateneo De Manila University, Dr. Chao-Tiao Yumol mentioned that he will be the new Department of Health (DOH) Secretary in a Facebook post dated June 19, stating: “Mga kakampotah mag live nako dun tayo magbastusan bago ako maging health secretary.”
Pro-Marcos FB page Maharlika, an ally of Chao-Tiaom also posted on Yumol’s wall on July 5, congratulating him and wishing him good luck.
Another Facebook user, Jayson Dumaguin, posted last July 8, greeting Yumol on being appointed as the new health secretary.
At 7 P.M. on the day of the shooting, however, Dumaguin edited the congratulatory post and omitted the position in question. The post is no longer available as of July 28, 5 P.M.
A fatal shooting incident at Ateneo De Manila University last Sunday, July 24, during a graduation ceremony, resulted in the death of three people, ex-Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay, her aide Victor George Capistrano, as well as ADMU security guard Jeneven Bandiala. The gunman, Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, has a history of legal disputes with Furigay, which investigators cite to be a compelling motive in assassinating the ex-Mayor.
According to Yumol, Furigay was involved in the illegal drug trade in Lamitan, a charge that was unverified.
Several pro-Marcos and pro-Duterte supporters on social media have expressed support and sympathy for the suspect since his arrest.
Rappler has tracked over 2,300 posts on Facebook and 250 videos on YouTube that mention “Yumol” from July 24 to July 26, with 56.6% of Facebook posts and 45.4% of Youtube videos expressing support for the gunman.
Netizens cite Yumol’s medical background and ‘heroism’ in eliminating a ‘drug lord’ to justify his actions. These posts have garnered thousands of engagements on social media.
According to Executive Order No. 292, Chapter 10, Section 44, the appointment of Secretaries of Departments can only be done by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
With Dr. Chao-Tiao’s deranged behavior even before the shooting, it would be unlikely that he will be considered for the post of DOH Secretary.
His minimal government service experience and relatively low-key reputation (but very notorious image) in the medical circle also make it more improbable to have him as health secretary.
As of Thursday, July 28, President Marcos Jr. has yet to appoint a Secretary for the Department of Health despite the surge of new cases of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant and now, monkeypox.
Why we fact-checked this:
Despite his medical title, Yumol took the lives of three people. Maharlika, by sympathizing with and further humanizing him, contributes greatly to shifting the narrative to clean Yumol’s image by peddling false information to their 933,000+ followers on Facebook, and other social media pages.
This composite photo from Interaksyon shows physician shooter Chao Tiao Yumol on July 24, 2022 and the DOH Compound in Santa Cruz, Manila. (The Philippine Star/Michael Varcas; Judgefloro/Wikimedia Commons)