MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the death of Dreyfuss Perlas, a physician who had been deployed to Lanao del Norte under the government's Doctors to the Barrios program.
In an order dated March 4, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre granted the NBI authority to "conduct investigation and case build-up over the death of Dr Dreyfuss 'Toto' Perlas who was shot dead in Lanao del Norte."
Aguirre cited Republic Act 10867 that authorizes him to direct the NBI to investigate "any crime when public interest so requires."
Perlas was shot dead while riding his motorbike in Barangay Maranding Annex on Wednesday night, March 1. He came from a medical mission in Sapad town and was on his way home to Barangay Maranding where he was renting a house.
The doctor was rushed to the Lanao del Norte Provincial Hospital in Kapatagan town, but was declared dead on arrival.
One of the suspects was killed on Saturday afternoon, March 4 after attempting to escape arrest, according to a GMA News Online report.
Perlas' family and friends, who remember him as a selfless and skilled doctor, appealed for justice. His remains were flown to his hometown of Kalibo, Aklan last Friday, March 3. He will be laid to rest on March 10. – with a report from Lian Buan/Rappler.com
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.