Reward offered for doc’s killer
Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte—Lanao del Norte provincial authorities on Friday formed a task force and offered a reward to find the killer of Sapad municipal health officer Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas.
“We had already conducted a conference and discussed the possible clues that will lead to the solution of the murder of Perlas,” said provincial police chief Senior Supt. Faro Antonio Olaguera.
Perlas, 31, was gunned down while driving home on his motorcycle on Wednesday night in Kapatagan town.
He was shot once, the bullet piercing his heart after hitting him in the back as he drove through Barangay Maranding Annex on his way home in nearby Lala town.
Olaguera said the police Anticybercrime Group would examine Perlas’ password-protected cell phone to collect possible leads to his killing.
He said the investigation would focus on reports that Perlas, a native of Batan, Aklan, had received threats.
He also said Perlas recently had a heated argument with a patient or relative of a patient at Bontilao Country Hospital in Lala where the doctor had also served.
“I have approved the reward to those who could pinpoint the suspected assailant of Dr. Perlas and directed the PNP (Philippine National Police) to mobilize the TF Perlas so we could give justice to Dr. Perlas,” Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo said.
A C-130 military plane flew Perlas’ body from Pagadian City to Kalibo, Aklan, where it was met by his mother, Leovigilda Bolivar-Perlas, and sympathizers, including Batan Mayor Rodel Ramos.
“We are thankful for the assistance provided to us by Lanao del Norte officials and we also have high expectation that the killing of my son would be solved very soon,” the doctor’s father, Dennis Perlas, said.
A scholar of the Department of Health (DOH) and a volunteer of its Doctor to the Barrios program, the popular and well-loved doctor has been praised by colleagues, classmates and the World Health Organization (WHO) for continuing to serve the poor town of Sapad after completing his 2012-2014 assignment there.
WHO called him an “unsung hero of public health.”
“May he be an inspiration to those who dared to take the path less traveled—the path to the underserved and hard-to-reach areas of the country,” WHO said in a statement on Friday.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said Perlas would be given the Bayani ng Kalusugan award.
The award, which was launched last year, recognizes “heroes of health” who have made significant contributions to the health and well-being of fellow Filipinos, particularly those who serve in remote areas.
The DOH deplored the attack on Perlas and vowed “to support efforts until justice is served.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto urged PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, to “make it his personal mission to find the killers of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas.”
“When a doctor is killed, the whole world gets sick. The only way to cure this sickness is to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Recto said. —WITH A REPORT FROM JULIE M. AURELIO AND NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.