An irate resident of a subdivision in Candelaria, Quezon last Thursday shot an ambulance driver in the hand, accusing the victim of transporting COVID-19 patients.
In a statement, the Peter Paul Medical Center of Candelaria, Inc. (PPMCCI) said their driver was having his dinner in the subdivision at 8:45 p.m. when the attack happened.
PROTECT our FRONTLINERS ????????? Keep them safe ????????????Posted by Peter Paul Medical Center of Candelaria Inc. on Thursday, April 2, 2020
According to the PPMCCI, the still unidentified suspect reprimanded the driver, saying that the hospital ambulance should not be allowed to enter the subdivision, because it is being used to transport coronavirus-infected patients.
The driver explained that the vehicle was mainly used for transporting personnel in and out of the PPMCCI, and that it is regularly disinfected.
But attacker ignored the explanation and shot the driver in the hand, injuring one of the victim's fingers, the PMCCI said.
"Our AMBULANCE DRIVER is the breadwinner of his family, who in these trying times where we are at war with COVID-19, chose to bravely perform his duty beyond what is required for the sake of the community and his fellow front liners," the hospital said, adding that the incident has been reported to the Candelaria Police Station.
"At the moment, we respectfully DEMAND that justice be served and given. HE IS YOUR FRONTLINER AS WELL," the PPMCCI said, even as it appealed to the public for understanding and compassion to health workers.
Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi), also condemned the shooting incident.
"Kino-condemn namin ito in the deepest sense. I think President Duterte should do something about this," Jimenez said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.
Following the attack, Jimenez suggested that medical personnel be given security and military escorts.
Jimenez said that based on their records, 17 doctors have already died amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A husband and wife, who were an oncologist and a pathologist respectively, have died from COVID-19 in Cebu City.—Jamil Santos/LBG/AOL, GMA News