#JusticeForDrDrey: Medical community honors slain physician
MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino medical community took to social media on Monday, March 6, to seek justice for Dreyfuss Perlas, the 31-year-old volunteer doctor who was killed in Lanao del Norte.
On the day they dubbed "Black Monday," health professionals from all over the Philippines posted their pictures on social media while wearing black or with black ribbons on their chest, with the hashtag #JusticeForDrDrey.
Perlas was a physician who had been deployed to Lanao del Norte since 2012 under the government's Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program. He volunteered for the job then chose to stay in Sapad after seeing the town's need for doctors.
The passionate and hardworking doctor was on his way home from a medical mission while riding his motorcycle when he was shot dead by still unidentified assailants in Barangay Maranding Annex last Wednesday night, March 1.
Advocacy group Head Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) participated in the Black Monday protest at the University of the Philippines-Manila Philippine General Hospital Oblation to condemn the murder of the community doctor.
According to the group's official statement on their Facebook page, they are calling on the Department of Health (DOH), local government units, and the Duterte government to thoroughly investigate the incident and apprehend the perpetrators.
They also emphasized that the DOH should assert its "protective, assuring, and influencing" role for the unhampered delivery of service by its personnel – the already few serving in far-flung communities. (READ: DOH to 'revisit, amend' Magna Carta of Public Health Workers)
Medical workers from all over the Philippines stood united on social media seeking justice for the slain doctor.
Among them were Paul ML Garcia and his colleagues from the Rural Health Unit (RHU) in El Nido, Palawan:
Ken Arellano Bala and his fellow DOH nurses in Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro:
Raymond Garcia and his RHU colleagues in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro:
Greggy John Rivera Cascayan and his co-workers from Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte:
John Reuel Magan, a physician in Koronadal, South Cotabato, shared a heartwarming post he found from a former patient of the slain doctor:\
The DOH Human Resources for Health in Catigbian, Bohol:
Sapang Dalaga Municipal Health Office in Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental:
The DOH Rural Health Unit in Bacolod, Negros Occidental:
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Cebu:
The Ajuy Rural Health Unit in Ajuy, IloIlo:
All staff of the Rural Health Unit and LGU of Maigo, Lanao del Norte:
Rappler intern Enrico Belga Jr is a senior AB Mass Communication student from Centro Escolar University.