THE 7-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, died yesterday afternoon.
The death of Stephanie Nicole Ella brings to two the number of stray bullet deaths on New Year.
Four-year-old Ranjilo Nemer of Caloocoan City died of a gunshot wound at 9 p.m. last Monday.
Following Ella’s death, Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda said:
‘‘This tragedy is a sobering reminder of how a reprehensible act from a thoughtless individual can rob our people, particularly our children, of their futures.
“For such a promising life to be lost in such a senseless way puts the burden on all of us to make certain that this tragedy is not repeated.
“We continue to call on all Filipinos: Let us consider the welfare of our countrymen by engaging in celebrations in a responsible and safe manner.’’
As of 6 a.m. Jan 2, the total fireworks-related injuries was 697 – 675 from fireworks, 20 from stray bullets and two from fireworks ingestion, DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said on his Twitter account.
The figure was 29 percent lower than last year’s 984 injuries.
Police arrested 18 individuals for allegedly firing their guns during the New Year’s Eve revelry, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
Twelve of the cases occurred in Metro Manila, where 10 persons were arrested for indiscriminate firing, said Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman.
“Our police units have already filed cases against these arrested individuals. The PNP will continually monitor the cases of the victims of stray bullets,” Cerbo told./Inquirer