Slain Barrio doctor received threats prior to killing: health official

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2017 05:30 PM

photo of Dr. Perlas courtesy of 15IB

ILIGAN – The Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines (AMHOP) of Lanao del Norte on Tuesday instructed their members not to take threats lightly even from seemingly incapable patients after the group verified that slain rural doctor Dreyfuss "Toto" Perlas received threats prior to his killing.

"The young doctor was good at handling patients, but because of our cultural difference there are times others cannot understand him. He is a new doctor and new brooms sweep well," Dr. Gemma Librado-Deaňo, AMHOP Lanao del Norte chapter president, said.

Eight barrio doctors assigned in remote towns of the province as well as health workers have been told to be extra vigilant and work towards a safer health center, Deano said.

The organization also plans to establish a helpline for their members who are facing challenging situations. 

Though Deano declined to give details about possible suspects, she said the Revolutionary People’s Army's (RPA) Cadre Agapito "Ruben" Democer who was killed in a police and military operation last Saturday was not Perlas' assailant.

The Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa - Mindanao denied allegations that a member of RPA, its armed wing, was involved in Perlas' killing.

The group dismissed the tagging of Democer in the murder of Perlas as an "attempt to camouflage the law enforcers’ incompetence in bringing the real perpetrators to justice."

"This is in fact insulting, to say the least, to the bereaved family and friends of Doctor Perlas. They deserve true justice - not mere conspiracy theories, speculations and fall guys," the group said in a statement.

The group said it will conduct its own investigation as they consider Perlas as a loss to them especially that the doctor served within their territory.