PNP chief asks DOH to lead probe into doctor’s death from chemical exposure
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Sunday that it had asked help from the Department of Health (DOH) to lead an independent investigation into the death of a police medical frontliner who allegedly inhaled toxic chemicals.
According to a statement, Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP chief, has instructed the deputy chief for administration, Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, to coordinate with the office of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in the probe.
Last May 24, three police officers were accidentally sprayed with a concentrated decontamination solution at the Philippine Sports Arena-Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility.
They were Capt, Casey Gutierrez, a physician, and Staff Sgt. Steve Rae Salamanca, and Cpl. Runie Toledo.
The spray made it difficult for the officers to breathe.
Salamanca and Toledo were treated at the PNP General Hospital. Gutierrez died on May 30 at the Lung Center of the Philippines due to inhalation injuries, the PNP said.
“The PNP mourns the death of Dr. Casey Gutierrez and I have ordered a full investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding his death. All efforts must be exerted to ensure that no similar incident happens in the future.” Gamboa said.
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