COTABATO CITY – An unidentified gunman shot and killed a doctor – who was the brother of a senior government official in the Muslim autonomous region – and his security aide in a daring attack Tuesday inside a private hospital in Cotabato City in southern Philippines, police said.
Police identified the victims as Dr. Sajid Sinolinding and Mohammad Esmael, who were attacked inside the Cotabato Doctors Clinic, Inc. along Sinsuat Avenue. The gunman allegedly pretended to be a medical patient to gain access in Sinolinding’s clinic and then fatally shot the doctor before killing his bodyguard.
The assailant fled after the killing and police were investigating the motive of the twin murders. The 40-year old doctor was the brother of Health Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding. It was not immediately known how the killer managed to sneak his gun at the clinic.
The family of Sinolinding did not release any statement, but regional governor Mujiv Hataman strongly condemned the attack. He said Sinolinding was known for his volunteer work as an ophthalmologist who had treated thousands of cataract patients for free in the autonomous region and held joint medical missions with the regional government in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces.
“We strongly condemn and denounce this act of violence committed against a dedicated health worker, one of the rare few who continue to serve the people with integrity and a sincere desire to uplift the lives of the Bangsamoro. Trust that the regional government is exerting all efforts to help bring the perpetrators to justice,” Hataman said. (Rhoderick Beñez)
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