Gun firing incidents up, firecracker blast injuries down in Luzon
At least five cases of indiscriminate gun firing, hurting one person, and nearly two dozen firecracker-related injuries were recorded in central and southern Luzon provinces during the New Year celebrations, police said.
In Dagupan City, a 39-year-old Raymundo Dailoan, a resident of Lucao District, was about to sleep with his live-in partner on the floor of their makeshift hut at 3:30 a.m. on Friday when he was hit in the left leg by a stray bullet, police said. The suspect has yet to be identified.
But in Bulacan province, police were able to arrest Christian Velasquez, who was allegedly under the influence of liquor, for firing his shotgun at a gasoline station in Balagtas town, said Col. Lawrence Cajipe, Bulacan police director.
Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, Central Luzon regional director, said three other incidents of illegal discharge of firearms involving a security guard and two civilians were reported in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac provinces.
“No (Philippine National Police) and (Armed Forces of the Philippines) personnel in the region were involved in indiscriminate firing during the eve and the actual celebration of the New Year’s Day,” Valeriano said in a report.
In the entire Ilocos region, only six patients sought treatment for firecracker injuries and only one of them was admitted at the Region I Medical Center (RIMC), a drop from the 11 cases recorded last year, said hospital chief Dr. Roland Mejia.
In Central Luzon, the number of firecracker injuries has gone down by 95 percent from 296 patients recorded between Dec. 21, 2019, and Jan. 1, 2020, to only 15 from Dec. 21, 2020, to Jan. 1 this year, according to the Department of Health.
The provinces of Aurora, Bataan and Zambales did not report any firecrackers-related injuries. No stray-bullet incidents were recorded in the region.
Puerto Princesa City, in Palawan province, also had no firecracker-related injury during the New Year festivities, police said.
Maj. Mhardie Azares, spokesperson of the Puerto Princesa police, however, said one incident of indiscriminate firing was reported in the village of Sicsican.
The gun-firing incident was reported by a certain Joanne Cilindro Estepa, who claimed that her 1-month old son, who was sleeping with her in the attic of her parents-in-law’s house, was narrowly missed by the bullet from a gun fired sometime around 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
In Oriental Mindoro province, police reported only one injury related to a firecracker explosion in Calapan City.
—Reports from Yolanda Sotelo, Toneette Orejas, Armand Galang, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Madonna Virola and Romar Miranda
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