Health groups condemn docs’ killing
Health groups condemned the murder of another doctor in Dinagat Island last week, the fifth such killing so far for this year.
The Philippine Medical Association and the Health Alliance for Democracy slammed the death of Dr. Vicente Soco, who was shot dead on Thursday evening.
Initial reports showed that the doctor was gunned down by a man on a motorcycle while the victim was at his family’s gasoline station.
“The PMA, once again, laments the killing of another doctor, Dr. Soco of Butuan who was shot two days ago by unknown assailants,” said PMA president Irineo Bernardo III.
The PMA chief also expressed alarm that “the government has not issued a statement on these crimes against our members with impunity.”
Soco is the fifth doctor to be killed this year, following the deaths of doctors Dreyfus Perlas in March; Sajid Sinolinding in April; Geroge Repique and Romeo Gadot Subiate, both in July.
Perlas was the municipal health officer of Sapad in Lanao del Norte while Sajid Sinolinding was the brother of Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, Jr. of the Department of Health.
On the other hand, Dr. George Repique served as the provincial health officer of Cavite while Romeo Gadot Subiate served in Tarlac City.
For his part, HEAD secretary general Joseph Carabeo urged the government to take action amid the culture of impunity in the country.
“This is still the effect of the culture of impunity that reigns. Human rights, human lives, seem to be of little value under the Duterte regime,” Carabeo said.
He also called on the Department of Health to make “a firm and unequivocal stand for the protection of all health workers, especially those working at the frontlines.”
“The DOH has yet to set up mechanisms to assist frontline health workers experiencing harassment. They have no clear position as to whether they will protect and seek justice for them,” he added.