Guv orders probe on NegOr city health exec slay

COURTESY CALL. PRO 7 (Central Visayas) regional director, Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo (left) makes a courtesy call on Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo (right) at the Capitol on Wednesday (Dec. 16, 2020). The governor has asked the police director to investigate the spate of killings in the province. (Photo courtesy of Capitol PIO)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has ordered an investigation on the killing of the city health officer of Guihulngan City and her husband as medical practitioners here have condemned the act as they seek justice for the victims.

On Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo, the regional director of the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO-7), together with Negros Oriental provincial police director Byran Demot, paid a courtesy call on Degamo.

During the meeting, Degamo asked the police officials to investigate the spate of killings in the province, including that of Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan.

The Negros Oriental Medical Society (NOMS), in an open letter posted on Facebook, described the death of the doctor as “a tragic example of the devaluation of the life of a doctor in public service.”

“A senseless killing screams injustice and violence and goes against the very essence of a doctor – a life spent honoring life”, the NOMS statement read.

The doctors said “we cannot keep fighting against both Covid-19 and the threat of a senseless death” as they called for public support “to keep the virus at bay” and the government “to protect us and to provide justice for us”.

Capitol spokesperson Bimbo Miraflor said the killing of Sancelan “will surely affect in one and many ways the operations of the local IATF in Guihulngan” as she was the head of the local Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Guihulngan.

However, the city government of Guihulngan will eventually in due time designate or appoint somebody to take on the job, he said.

Sancelan was allegedly a spokesperson of the New People’s Army (NPA) and was in a purported hit list of a vigilante group, which police probers said does not exist.

Sancelan and her husband, Edwin, a local government employee there, were on their way home around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday on a motorcycle when two suspects gunned them down. (PNA)

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