German Doctors to reopen health facilities on Monday; NPA denies extortion try

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/25 June) —  It may be an all’s well that ends well scenario as the health facilities for the poor of the Committee of German Doctors here and in Bukidnon will reopen on Monday after security issues resulting in an extortion try were resolved.

Dr. Dietmar Schug, country director of the Committee of German Doctors who is at the center of the extortion attempt, announced that they have decided to reopen their facilities on Monday after they were assured of their security.

Schug received an extortion letter purportedly coming from the Communist Party of the Philippines asking P5-million pesos from Schug in exchange for his and his family’s safety. The May 16 extortion letter which Schug received on June 8 imposed a June 22 deadline.

But Cesar Renerio, spokesperson of the New People’s Army (NPA) in North Central Mindanao Command vehemently denied they tried extorting from the humanitarian group.

Contrary to the grievance aired in the extortion letter, Renerio said the German Doctors has not committed human rights violations and is not engaged in profit-making.

The German Doctors closed their facilities on June 23 and 24 to do a security assessment.

Schug said that encouraged by the strong support they got from the community and local government units, they have decided to continue their more than 25 years of service here.

Mayor Vicente Emano welcomed the decision of the German Doctors and promised to provide them security and ensure their safety and unhampered humanitarian work.

We are thankful that they heard our pleas and we thank them for their trust in us, Emano told MindaNews. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)