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WV records 1 stray bullet case; decrease in firecracker incidents

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — As the clock struck 12:05 a.m. on January 1, 2018, the 45-year-old Nolie Ursula, of Barangay Bel-is in Buruanga, Aklan, was roused from her sleep by a pain on her right thigh.

Ursula was rushed to Malay Municipal Hospital for treatment at 2:00 a.m., or almost an hour later, because her place was at a hinterland village that bounds Malay and Buruanga towns. Initially, her case was not immediately considered as an incident of stray bullet pending investigation.

But afternoon of the same day, Senior Inspector Willian Aguirre, Buruanga Police chief, confirmed that the X-ray examination done on the victim confirmed that the object, which penetrated through her thigh is that of a firearm slug.

Aguirre said Ursula will be operated to extract the slug on her thigh. "We will then conduct a ballistic examination," he said, adding that the police already had three persons of interests, although they are not in police custody yet. “We would apply for a search warrant if necessary," he added.

With this incident, the Police Regional Office-6 said it almost attained it goal of zero stray-bullet incident during the holidays. “Still, our records of holiday incidents are way better this year compared to last year, which had 20 incidents and 15 injured persons all over the region," said PRO-6 spokesperson Superintendent Gilbert Gorero.

Further, PRO-6 also recorded a decrease of firecracker incidents in Western Visayas: From 48 incidents with 57 injured persons in 2016, the number dropped to 44 incidents with 44 persons this 2017, said Gorero.

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Gorero said it was a product of the cooperation among the local governments units, the Department of Health, the PRO-6, and the Bureau of Fire Protection, among others. "Thanks to the critical role of the media in public information and education. This should be highlighted as well," he added.

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