News Shooting at top Philippine university graduation ceremony kills three

Shooting at top Philippine university graduation ceremony kills three

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Three people, including a former mayor, have died in a shooting at a university graduation ceremony in the Philippines.

Local police chief Remus Medina says the shooting appeared to have been an assassination of the former mayor of the southern Lamitan city, Rose Furigay.

The suspect, wounded in a shootout with a campus security officer and arrested after a car chase, was now in custody and being interrogated, Chief Medina told reporters on Sunday.

“He looks like he was a determined assassin,” Chief Medina said, adding he was found with two pistols.

The shooting took place in Quezon, part of the Manila capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities home to more than 13 million people.

Ms Furigay was shot as she was about to attend the graduation of her daughter at the law school of Ateneo de Manila University, one of the country’s most prestigious, Chief Medina said.

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

The two others killed were a campus security officer and an unidentified male, the police said.

Ateneo cancelled the graduation ceremony after the shooting.

In the Southeast Asian nation, shooting incidents are sporadic, with owners required to have permits to carry guns in public.

Private security officers in the Philippines carry either handguns or shotguns, and firearms are a common sight in shopping malls, offices, banks, restaurants and even schools.

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said police would track down all those involved.

“We commit our law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate these killings and bring all involved to justice,” he said in a statement.