New Year revelry in W. Visayas 'peaceful'

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By Perla Lena (PNA)

ILOILO CITY – Western Visayas remained peaceful amid incidents of alleged stray bullet and indiscriminate firing that were recorded as the region welcomed the New Year, a Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) official said Tuesday.

PRO6 spokesperson Supt. Joem Malong said the coverage of the New Year celebration was “very successful” as they only recorded 40 firecracker-related injuries (FWRIs) from Dec. 16, 2018 until Jan. 1, 2019.

“Guimaras and Antique have no reported firecracker-related injuries or casualties,” she cited.

Malong said the highest number at 18 of FWRIs came from Capiz.

She reported that Iloilo province has nine; Bacolod City, seven; Iloilo City, three; Negros Occidental, two; and Aklan with one incident.

On the other hand, the alleged stray bullet incidents were recorded in the towns of Maasin and Janiuay in Iloilo.

The first victim was identified as 59-year-old Magdalena Dulce from Aquino Nobleza West, Janiuay who was hit on her head while she was watching a fireworks display at around 12:40 a.m.

In Maasin, the victim was identified as 15-year-old Julius Julie Engada, who suffered wounds on his nape and the back of his body. The incident happened at Barangay Subog, Maasin at around 11:50 p.m. of Dec. 31, 2018.

“As of now, the alleged stray bullet incidents are still under investigation. We have no suspects yet,” Malong said.

Both victims were brought to nearest hospital while a deformed slug of unknown caliber was recovered at the place of the incident in Janiuay.

Meanwhile, the local police arrested 37-year-old Stewart Mirasol of Barangay Hibao-an Norte in Mandurriao district at 12:30 a.m. of January 1 for illegal discharge of firearm. The responding team recovered a 9-mm pistol from the suspect.

Malong said the suspect will face charges for alarm and scandal and illegal possession of firearm if he had no license.

PRO6 operatives also confiscated some PHP154,775 worth of illegal firecrackers.

“The successful security coverage is attributed to focused law enforcement operations, the implementation of the Oplan Ligtas Paskuhan 2018 and the support and cooperation of the community and other stakeholders,” she added.