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Police probe jealousy angle in volunteer doctor’s death

Lanao del Norte police say Dr Dreyfuss Perlas’ ‘closeness’ with a Maranao woman might have cost him his life

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Lanao del Norte police are now looking at jealousy or family pride as a possible reason for the murder of volunteer doctor Dreyfuss Perlas on Wednesday, March 1.

Senior Superintendent Faro Antonio Olaguerra, Lanao del Norte Provincial Police director, revealed this Tuesday night, March 7.

He stopped short of naming the woman in question as the police are still conducting an investigation. Olaguerra said she was a health worker.

The police officer said that the "closeness" of the doctor and the unnamed Maranao woman did not sit well with her family and Maranao culture.

“Although they have no relationship, these offended the cultural sensitivity of the Maranao,” Olaguerra said.

Maratabat, or pride or dignity, has been "wounded" with Perlas’ closeness to the woman, he said.

In Maranao culture, wounding of pride or dignity can lead to violent repercussions, especially among conservative families.

“It was this closeness that we are closing in on,” Olaguerra said.

He said the two are always seen together, but added that the slain doctor had no known relationship in Lanao del Norte in the 5 years he served there.

“For Dr Perlas, this may have no meaning, no implication as they have no intimate relationship, but still, it’s difficult to explain cultural and religious differences especially here in the Lanao provinces,” Olaguerra added.

He also revealed that the PNP Anti-Cyber Crime group will release the forensic findings on the victim’s phone.

“Perhaps that would shed some light into his untimely demise,” he said.

Perlas was shot dead while riding his motorbike in Barangay Maranding Annex on March 1.

Before his death, Perlas served as municipal health officer of Sapad, Lanao del Norte. – Rappler.com