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Prov’l health officer gunned down in Dinagat

By MIKE U. CRISMUNDO

BUTUAN CITY – A Provincial Health Officer (PHO) in the Province of Dinagat Islands (PDI) was gunned down Thursday night by a lone unidentified gunman in his house at Purok 2, Barangay New Mabuhay, Dinagat town, Dinagat Islands province.

According to the initial report received by the Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) from the PDI Police Provincial Office (PPO), the victim was immediately brought to the Dinagat District Hospital by a companion for medical treatment. He was transferred to the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City before he eventually expired on Friday, the PDI PPO report added.

PDI PPO Provincial Director Senior Supt. Ramir Perlito P. Perlas, identified the PHO Officer as Dr. Vicente L. Soco Jr., 46, a resident of the same place and a native of San Francisco town, Agusan del Sur province.

According to the Dinagat Municipal Police Station (MPS) and PDI PPO the victim was watching TV while waiting for dinner at round 7:40 p.m. when an unidentified gunman barged in and peppered him with bullets from a still unidentified caliber pistol.

“Jay-r Porras, his companion in the house at the time of the incident said he saw Dr. Soco fall down wounded. He also saw the suspect fleeing on board a motorcycle,” the PDI PPO report said.

Follow-up investigation is still being conducted by Dinagat MPS and PDI PPO to determine the motive and identity of the suspect.

Meanwhile, PDI lone district solon Rep. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao on Saturday condemned the murder of Dr. Soco.

“He is a great loss to our province and my office gives its full commitment to assist in seeking justice for Dr. Soco. Violence and injustice have no place in our province,” the PDI solon said, in a statement.

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