Family of slain rural doctor cries for justice
ILOILO CITY — The family of slain rural health physician Dreyfuss “Toto” Perlas sought justice as they headed to Lanao del Norte to claim his remains.
“I cannot accept that my brother is gone. He must have justice,” said Louella Perlas-Patricio, the physician’s younger sister.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer was able to interview Louella over the phone on Thursday while she and her father, Dennis, were at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, en route to Lanao del Norte to claim his body. They came from their hometown in Batan, Aklan.
Unidentified persons shot dead Perlas about 7 p.m. on Wednesday while he was riding a motorbike in Kapatagan town in Lanao del Norte.
Police are still investigating the motive and determining the identities of those involved.
Perlas, 31, was a municipal health officer of Sapad town in Lanao del Norte where he had also volunteered under the Doctors to the Barrios Program of the Department of Health.
Dennis Perlas, a municipal councilor of Batan town, learned of his son’s death about 9 p.m. on Wednesday after a classmate of Dreyfuss called Louella and informed her of the murder.
“He is my eldest child. We only have two children,” Dennis told the Inquirer. He was unable to finish the telephone conversation as he was overcome with grief.
Louella said it was a “nightmare” to hear of her brother’s murder.
She said they had asked Dreyfuss to apply for transfer because they were worried about his safety.
“But he wanted to stay there because he had learned to love the community and did not want to leave the work he had started,” she added. SFM/rga
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