MANILA – Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel on Monday emphasized the need to protect doctors and other healthcare workers, particularly those serving in remote and conflict-stricken communities.
The senator from Mindanao likewise condemned the attack on a Sultan Kudarat physician, urging the authorities to ensure swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety of medical professionals.
Dr. Charmaine Ceballos Barroquillo, a government physician at the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital, was seriously injured in an ambush that took place in a remote area of Maguindanao Del Sur on Feb. 3.
"In times when those dedicated to saving lives face grave threats, it becomes the nation's duty to safeguard them. It is our responsibility to protect our doctors," Pimentel said in a statement.
"These doctors have invested a lot of their time, talent, and resources to be who they are. And the Philippine State has also invested a lot in them. Hence, we should protect these educated and knowledgeable people with the ability to improve our health and general well-being," he added.
"Let us put an end to the senseless violence against our doctors. It is time to prioritize the protection of our healthcare professionals," he said.
Pimentel said the incident highlights the dangers faced by healthcare workers in certain areas of the Philippines where security threats and armed conflicts persist.
"Our authorities must apprehend the perpetrators and implement measures to safeguard the lives of doctors and other frontline healthcare workers," Pimentel said. (Leonel Abasola/PNA)