KAPATAGAN, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews / 2 March) – A “Doctors to the Barrios” volunteer was shot dead in the municipality of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte Wednesday evening, reports said.
Dr. Drefuss Perlas, 30, a native of Poblacion Batan in Aklan province, was reportedly riding his motorcycle on his way to his boarding house in the adjacent town of Lala when a still unidentified suspect shot him at the back in a dark portion of Barangay Maranding Annex around 7:30 in the evening.
Perlas reportedly belongs to the 30th batch of the Department of Health’s “Doctors to the Barrios” program.
Senior Insp. Melvin Loquinte, Kapatagan police chief, told MindaNews over phone that people at first thought the victim was suffering from hypertension, but when they noticed it was Dr. Perlas they rushed him to the Kapatagan Provincial Hospital.
Loquinte said they found one empty shell at the crime scene and are still conducting investigation to determine the motive.
Perlas reportedly served as municipal health officer of neighboring Sapad town since 2013 but lived in Barangay Maranding in Lala municipality. Sapad is a hinterland town 18 kilometers away.
“He was a good man and a dedicated health officer,” Loquinte said of the doctor.
1Lt. Marloue Decin, Charlie Company Commander of the Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion, said Dr . Perlas led the One-Stop-Shop Medical Mission in the interior barangay of Karkum only last Tuesday (February 28) together with the local government unit of Sapad, the military and the police.
“He was a great loss for us and the medical team of the province who served and attended the health needs of the Muslim and Christian community in Sapad,” Decin said.
Perlas was once a medical retainer of the 35th Infantry Battalion before the unit was transferred to Jolo, Sulu, Decin added.
The slain doctor’s father, Dennis Perlas, a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Batan, said in a phone call that Dr. Perlas was the eldest of two siblings. He said they are coming today from Aklan. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)