Last photos of
Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas,
giving medical checkups
a day before he was murdered.
(Photos below, rightclicked from sunstar, lit up by blog admin: Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas in blue shirt and jeans, 6’3″ in height, with a soft expression on his face, rendering medical services to indigents)
Doctor Dreyfuss “Drey” “Toto” Perlas: People’s doctor, doctor to the poor, “manggagamot ng bayan”, graduate of the University of the Philippines, West Visayas State University, and the Development Academy of the Philippines, healer and public heath medical practitioner, 31 years old, his whole life ahead of him — he could have joined many others and migrated abroad, earned dollars and euros in big houses and big cars. He chose to serve the poorest of his countrymen in Sapad, Lanao del Norte, southern Philippines. He was killed with a bullet at the back that pierced his heart and lungs three days ago while on his motorcycle on his way to his boarding house in Lala town, Lanao del Norte.
Friends from his hometown of Aklan, like neighbor and retired teacher Mary Ann Salazar Lopez, saw him last December when his Uncle Isot was honored Father of the Year. He bussed her on the cheeks, his customary greeting, and she asked him why he did not transfer to their province since he was very far from his family, and he responded “okey naman doon.” (“it’s okay there”).
According to the people of the barrios of Lanao del Norte, like resident Dr. Jordan Pinzon, Dr. Drey Perlas was always seen personally treating patients in the barrio health center, administering IV fluids, fetching mothers who had just given birth in the hinterlands to bring them to the health centers with their babies to be observed for complications. He personally accompanied patients he had referred to bigger hospitals and even paid for their ambulance and other fees if they could not afford it.
Last March 1, Dr. Drey Perlas was on his motorcycle on the highway when, upon reaching a dark portion, he was shot at the left portion of the back by gunmen who were also riding in an unidentified vehicle. The suspects fled in the direction of Maranding, Lala town. Police gave chase but lost track of the gunmen. Dr. Drey Perlas was declared dead on arrival at the Lanao del Norte provincial hospital in the adjacent town of Kapatagan.
Dr. Drey has been a municipal health officer of the second-class municipality of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte since October 2011. In 2012, he was assigned by the Department of Health to Sapad, Lanao del Norte, a town that had not seen a medical health officer for twelve years. He decided to remain in Sapad to render medical services to the far-flung towns, a decision he had never looked back on.
His family and friends have taken to Facebook to cry for justice. “Task Force Perlas” was created by the police provincial headquarters command of Lanao del Norte has created Task Force Perlas to lead the investigation.