COTABATO CITY—Relatives of a slain eye physician right here have expressed alarm over what they described as suspicious malfunctioning of a closed circuit tv (CCTV) digicam earlier than, during and shortly after his killing on Tuesday.
Police mentioned Dr. Shajid “Jaja” Sinolinding was shot and killed by a lone gunman who pretended to be a affected person. Sinolinding was inspecting one other affected person on the Cotabato Doctors Clinic when he was attacked earlier than midday. The gunman additionally shot and killed the physician’s safety escort, Mohammad Esmael.
Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr., regional well being secretary within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the sufferer’s older brother, mentioned the failure of the CCTV to seize the gunman’s face added ache to the grieving household.
“The [footage] was the only way we could identify the assailant,” Kadil mentioned.
He mentioned he was informed that each one different occasions contained in the clinic have been recorded, besides those who occurred instantly earlier than his 37-year-old brother was killed.
Senior Insp. Alexander de Pedro, metropolis police spokesperson, mentioned the CCTV failed to seize the face of the gunman, nor did it present how the suspect entered the constructing and proceeded to the sufferer’s clinic.
De Pedro mentioned the assault occurred between 11:10 a.m. and 11:16 a.m. on the second flooring of the Cotabato Doctors Clinic on Sinsuat Avenue right here, however the CCTV digicam stopped recording minutes earlier than the gunman entered the constructing.
He mentioned the CCTV recording resumed at 11:30 a.m.
De Pedro believed the gunman had an confederate contained in the medical facility. The suspect or his confederate, he mentioned, should have tinkered with the digicam or jammed the transmission sign.
The physician’s secretary mentioned the suspect went to Sinolinding’s workplace at 11 a.m., asking to see the physician.
When informed that the clinic was now not accepting sufferers since he arrived past the cutoff time, the suspect pulled a gun, barged inside and shot Sinolinding.
De Pedro mentioned investigators submitted the footage to the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
“Doctor Jaja has no known enemies but we have death threats so he [asked for an] armed security escort,” Kadil mentioned.
He informed reporters that an older brother, Prof. Harris Sinolinding, survived an murderer’s bullet in August final 12 months after he uncovered alleged corruption in a state faculty in North Cotabato province.
“My brother Jaja was collateral damage—they threatened to get any of us,” mentioned Kadil, including he knew who was behind his brother’s death.
The Department of Health (DOH) and the teams Health Alliance for Democracy (Head) and the Cotabato Medical Society condemned the killing, noting Sinolinding was the second physician murdered in a span of two months.
In March, Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas, a municipal well being officer in Lanao del Norte province, was shot and killed whereas he was on his method dwelling.
“How many more health workers need to die before the [DOH] and this administration stop idling around and start protecting our barrio doctors?” requested Dr. Joseph Carabeo, Head secretary common.
“Every day frontline health personnel are putting their lives on the line to serve their countrymen, but the government repays them with indifference, deaf to the bullets that kill them,” Carabeo mentioned.
“What’s glaring in Dr. Jaja’s case [was] that he already had a security escort. This did not stop him from getting killed,” he added.
Although Sinolinding was engaged in personal apply, he was identified to supply free eye care companies to indigent households in distant villages in North Cotabato earlier than his death.
“The DOH condemns this act of violence as it lost anew a dedicated healthcare worker at a time when there is a dire need for their service,” mentioned Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial in a press release.
“We are deeply saddened by this event, even as we are still awaiting the resolution of the killing of former Doctors to the Barrios’ Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas,” she mentioned.
“We vow to support efforts in the pursuit of justice in this senseless killing,” Ubial mentioned.
Carabeo referred to as on the federal government and the DOH to hasten the investigations on the deaths of Sinolinding and Perlas.
“The underserved areas have lost much-needed doctors, and that their cases remain unresolved sends a chilling message to health workers all over the country,” he mentioned.
He requested the DOH to claim its position as protector of well being staff.
“There have been cases where local governments were involved in the harassment of health workers and professionals. These must be taken more seriously,” Carabeo mentioned. —WITH REPORTS FROM TINA G. SANTOS IN MANILA
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