4 DEAD, SO FAR | As NBI is tasked to probe Dr. Repique’s slay, DOH raises alarm over killings of govt doctors

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Dr. George Repique, provincial health officer of Cavite, gunned down on July 11: the fourth government doctor killed this year. IMAGE FROM DR. REPIQUE'S GOOGLE PLUS ACCOUNT

MANILA – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has directed the National Bureau of Investigation to step into the murder of Cavite provincial health officer Dr. George Repique, as the Department of Health grew increasingly worried over the deaths of its physicians on the field, with Repique being the fourth and latest victim.

On Monday, the DOJ released the order by Aguirre telling the NBI to “conduct investigation and case build-up on the death of Dr. George Repique, Cavite Provincial Health Officer, who was allegedly gunned down by riding-in-tandem [assassins] at around 8:30pm in Trece Martieres City, July 11.”

Relatedly, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said Repique was the fourth government doctor killed this year. The first was Dr. Dreyfus Perlas of Lanao del Norte, who was killed by unknown gunmen in March.

Then came the murder of Dr. Sajid Jaja Sinolinding in April, in Cotabato City..

The third victim was a doctor in the DOH’s Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) unit, who was not named, and who was brutally killed – a knife cutting his throat – in front of his pregnant wife.

The DOH said the killing of Repique, the fourth victim, is still under investigation, so it declined to hazard a guess on the motive for the crime and who could have perpetrated it.

Nonetheless, the DOH appealed to the National Police to fast-track the investigation to bring Repique’s killers to justice.