March 4, 2017
HONTIVEROS CONDEMNS KILLING OF VOLUNTEER DOCTOR
Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Saturday condemned the killing of volunteer doctor Dreyfuss Perlas, calling his death a heartbreaking and infuriating loss to the medical profession and to the community of Lanao del Norte.
"I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas. He was an idealistic young man who wanted to push for meaningful change," Hontiveros said.
"The loss of Dr. Perlas is nothing short of tragic. He is the latest victim of the culture of killing and impunity that has engulfed the country. We have few enough bright young doctors who are willing to serve in the provinces. I urge the authorities to identify his killers and bring them to justice," Hontiveros added.
Perlas was a 31-year-old physician who had been working under the Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program, and was assigned in Lanao del Norte. Perlas was shot on Wednesday night, March 1, while riding his motorbike In Barangay Maranding Annex. He was rushed to Lanao del Norte Provincial Hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. One of his fellow batchmates said that Perlas had the opportunity to return to his home province of Aklan, but chose to stay in Lanao del Norte even after his contract expired three years ago.
Hontiveros said that the culture of death has reached the health sector.
"No one is safe anymore. Even those who are silently and selflessly working for the promotion of universal healthcare are not spared from an assassin's bullet," Hontiveros said.
The senator urged the health community to express their strong indignation against the killing of Perlas.
"The current climate of violence under the Duterte government poses a serious threat to the people's access to public health, and a mortal danger to the lives of health workers. We cannot allow this climate to continue unchanged," Hontiveros said.
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