One year after his murder, justice remains elusive for Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas. Doctors and other medical professionals marked the first year anniversary of Dr. Drey’s death by renewing calls for justice!
|Candle lighting ceremony, calling for justice for Dr. Drey's death, March 3, 2017.|
"While we commemorate his death in various ways, we are united in demanding for justice, as the perpetrators and mastermind of his murder remain at large," said Dr. Joseph Carabeo, Secretary-General of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD). "Worse, not much has been done to protect frontline health workers from such violence!"
Dr. Drey was serving rural communities in Lanao Del Norte when he was killed in March 1, 2017. He continued to serve as a municipal health officer after his stint with the Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program of the Department of Health.
Soon after, Dr. Sajid Sinolinding of Cotabato City and Dr. George Repique, Provincial Health Officer of Cavite, were killed in April and July, respectively.
These deaths have highlighted the risks that frontline health workers face in the performance of their duties. However, the DOH still has to institute comprehensive and clear-cut protective measures.
"After the deaths of seven doctors in 2017, what changes have the DOH made to protect health personnel at the frontlines? Apparently none." Carabeo lamented. "How many more doctors need to die in 2018 before the DOH acts? Before Dr. Drey gets any measure of justice?"
The health sector stands firm with Dr. Drey's family and friends, as well as colleagues and other health professionals, in demanding justice. Moreover, the protection of health personnel serving the frontlines where healthcare is most needed remains a social, practical, and moral imperative that the government must address.##