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Philippine cops nab three for Jesuit hospital doctor's murder

Dr. Raul Winston Andutan was targeted by paid assassins, police say

Philippine cops nab three for Jesuit hospital doctor's murder
Dr. Raul Winston Andutan is rushed to an ambulance after being shot in Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines on Dec. 2.  (Photo: John Bustamante)

Police in the Philippines have arrested three men for gunning down a prominent doctor from a Catholic-run hospital in Mindanao in a killing that Catholic and rights groups said had resulted “in the poor becoming the ultimate victims.”

Dr. Raul Winston Andutan, the medical director of the Jesuit-run Xavier University-Maria Reyna Hospital in Cagayan de Oro, was shot and killed on Dec. 2 while on his way to the hospital to visit patients.

Andutan was reportedly approached by three gunmen while sitting in his car and shot at close range.

Police said that they had arrested the suspected assassins the day after the killing.

“We have … arrested them and they were identified by eyewitnesses,” Cagayan de Oro City police spokesman Major Evan Vinas said on Dec. 5.

The suspects admitted responsibility for the killing, he said, adding that two loaded .45-caliber pistols and a hand grenade were recovered from the suspects.

We condemn such a senseless killing. Dr. Andutan was active in many medical missions for the poor … an excellent doctor and surgeon

“They admitted that they were guns for hire. They were paid 150,000 pesos [US$3,000] to shoot him,” Vinas added.

He said investigations were ongoing to find out who paid them to carry out the killing.

The Catholics for Peaceful Mindanao group condemned the attack, saying they were at a loss as to why a health worker was targeted especially during a pandemic.

“We condemn such a senseless killing. Dr. Andutan was active in many medical missions for the poor … an excellent doctor and surgeon. He did not deserve to die in such a manner,” the group said in a statement.

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“Ultimately, the poor were the victims of his death. They lost a good and compassionate doctor who showed them real concern.” 

A non-governmental group called Health Action for Human Rights also condemned the killing, saying Andutan’s death was a continuation of the culture of impunity and death under the Duterte regime.

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