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2 dead, over 700 injured in New Year revelry

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(Photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)


MANILA ― Two persons were killed in over 700 fireworks and 51 stray-bullet related incidents during the Christmas and New Year revelries.


Seven of the total number of injured victims were children, the youngest was a three-year-old girl from Zamboanga del Norte.


Nine people have been arrested by police for the illegal discharge of firearms, including a policeman and a security guard.


Among the nine suspects were Police Officer 1 Francis Nepomuceno, who fired his service firearm in Sariaya, Quezon last December 22; Erol Cimatu Calivoso, president of the Association of Barangay Chairmen in Pagudpud Ilocos Norte, who fired his .45 pistol on December 25; and Jerry Masaoay Divina, a security guard of Globe Telecom, who fired a homemade .22 revolver last December 26.


Nepomuceno, who is currently out on bail, will also be charged with administrative charges.


Most fireworks-related injuries came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 243 cases (63 percent), followed by Region 5 (Bicol) with 31 cases (8 percent), and Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 27 cases (7 percent).


In NCR, most cases were reported from Manila with 73 out of 243 cases (30 percent), 46 cases (19 percent) were from Quezon City and 28 (12 percent) cases from Marikina City.


In Nueva Vizcaya, an eight-year-old boy lost his three fingers after using kwitis.


Three Cebu City residents were hit by stray bullets during the New Year revelries, police said.


Police investigators identified the victims as Jovelyn Pucot of Sitio Kamansi in the hinterland barangay of Mabini; Mary Claire dela Lilan, 12, of Barangay Capitol Site and Janome Diaz, 22, of Barangay Duljo Fatima, all in Cebu City.


Health officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Friday reported zero firecracker related injury but admitted four persons were hurt by stray bullets during the New Year revelry.


Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, ARMM health chief, said two of the stray bullet victims were both minors, a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy. The two were injured in the head and arms and remained confined at Jolo Provincial Hospital.


The third stray bullet victim from Jolo was identified as Nadzmier Jikiri, 32, who was hit in his legs. He was released after receiving medical treatment.


In Malabang, Lanao del Sur, a 41-year-old man sustained multiple gunshot wounds in his legs and arms during the revelry. He was rushed to Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.

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