Local Quezon City police chief Remus Medina said the shooting was an assassination of the former mayor of the southern Lamitan city, Rose Furigay. The former businesswoman from a political family is the second leader of the Province of Basilan to be killed in political violence.
The suspect Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, wounded in a shootout with a campus security officer and arrested after a car chase, was now in custody and being interrogated, Medina told reporters.
“He looks like he was a determined assassin,” Medina said, adding he was found with two pistols.
Quezon is part of the Manila capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities home to more than 13 million people.
Furigay was shot as she was about to attend the graduation of her daughter, Hannah Furigay, at the law school of Ateneo de Manila University, one of the country’s most prestigious, Medina said. Hannah was wounded during the attack and rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
The other two victims were Furigay’s security detail, Victor George Capistrano and Ateneo security guard Jeneven Bandiala.
Yumol 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 terrorist group known for its banditry and kidnapping.
Furigay, a Christian, passed orders for the police and military to counter Islamist extremism during her time in office.
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.
“We commit our law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate these killings and bring all involved to justice,” Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.