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14-year-old girl, hit by stray bullet, dies

Rommel L. Rutor (The Freeman) - March 8, 2016 - 9:00am

2 days after shooting incident 

CALBAYOG CITY, Philippines — After two days of fighting for her life, 14-year-old Angel Baylon, one of two girls hit by a stray bullet during a broad daylight shooting incident, died in a medical facility in Tacloban City.

The girl, according to her friends, passed away at about 6 p.m. Monday, after a 2-day comatose due to a bullet injury in her head, which she got from the gunfire by two motorcycle-riding men who were chasing and trying to kill a certain Jimboy Tomnob, alias Jimboy Dealagdon.

“She was such a fighter, I was the nurse on-duty when she (Baylon) was brought at OLPHI. Although she was reeling from that bullet injury in her head, she remained calm. This young girl had a good heart; she’s truly an Angel,” said Erica Garnica, the on-duty nurse on that fateful weekend when Baylon was rushed to the hospital.

The other stray-bullet victim, a 12-year-old girl who also sustained a gunshot wound on her chest, was still on intensive monitoring by doctors in a hospital in Tacloban City.

Tomnob, the supposed target of the riding-in-tandem gunmen, had a gunshot wound on his right forearm and is now recuperating in Calbayog District Hospital.

Many city residents commented that the death of Baylon opened up a public outcry on how safe Calbayog City is for children and ordinary citizens who are not in any way participating or involved in the local political scene, which has been linked to the rise of killing incidents here.

“If this is not political, then what is it? Why are these armed groups in existence anyway? What are they here for? And why is it that every election time, these killings are increasing unabatedly? When will these stop?” said one teacher of the Calbayog City National High School where Baylon was a student.

The teacher, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said the armed groups loitering in the city fears no one, even if DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, who controls the police, hails from the city.

As of this writing, the city police here still has no clue on who the perpetrators were, although police efforts are now being made to extract information from the supposed target person, Jimboy Tomnob. There has been no lead yet, three days since the incident, police said.

Meanwhile, citizens thru the social media have started to call on the religious sector, particularly the Archdiocese of Calbayog, to rise up and push for a true-to-goodness peaceful elections in the city.

One Genaro Navilon, a local media practitioner, commented that the Church should condemn the incident otherwise it is going to be a reflection that the Church is no longer for the people.

While the local campaign period is about to start in a couple of weeks from now, political streamers bearing faces of politicians, should not be the one to be posted, but the call for justice for all victims of killings in the city, Navilon added. (FREEMAN)

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