STRAY BULLETS INJURE 4 IN ARMM, 1 IN REGION 12 DURING NEW YEAR REVELRY

COTABATO 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.

Meanwhile, a 50-year-old man from Barangay Marquez in this city sustained a gunshot wound in his foot and went home after treatment at 2 a.m. Friday.

Jenny Ventura, focal person of DOH-12’s “Iwas Paputok” campaign, said 64 persons have been injured by firecrackers from Dec. 21, 2015 until Friday noon.

Region 12 is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and Gen. Santos City. It is now known as Soccsksargen region.

South Cotabato has the highest number of injuries so far with 23 cases reported since December 20, 2015.

North Cotabato came in second with 16, Sultan Kudarat five and Saranggani three. Cotabato City has nine cases while General Santos City has eight.

Ventura said monitoring of firecracker related injuries of DOH will last until January 5. PNA/northboundasia.com