CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 01 January) — Frequent raids and confiscation of prohibited firecrackers have resulted to fewer casualties in Cagayan de Oro on New Year’s Eve, according to records at two major hospitals here.
But 26-year old Jonas Alaman was rushed to the JR Borja Memorial Hospital evening of Decmeber 31 due to injuries from a stray bullet.
Alaman said he was enjoying drinks with his friends in Xavier Heights, Upper Carmen in Cagayan de Oro City when he felt a pain on his left thigh.
“I thought a small ball hit me until I saw blood,” Alaman said.
Alaman’s friend, Gina Balvar, 30, was also hit but the injury was minor.
Dr. Charles Marquez said he was not able to dislodge the shotgun pellet from the thigh of Alaman. “I will just give him a strong dosage of antibiotics. Hopefully the body will reject the pellet and the bullet will just come out. If I try to get it out, I am afraid it will do more damage on the tissues, “ Marquez said.
The expected bloodbath during the merrymaking did not come, thanks to relentless raids and confiscations conducted by the Philippine National Police and the Department of Health.
Only four persons were wounded, according to records of the J. R. Borja Memorial Hospital and the Northern Mindanao Medical Center as of 3 a.m. January 1.
Injured were Roel Edrote, 46, who was hit by a baby rocket; Juliet Villarcal, 11 and four-year old Angel Ubanan who were hit by a kwitis; and 8-year old Reyman Cuadra, who was hit by a piccolo.
Doctors at the JR Borja Memorial Hospital were not as busy attending to patients complaining of firecracker-related injuries. In fact, they broke into applause when Marissa Prejillana, wife of Army soldier, Pfc. Benjamin Prejillana, delivered a healthy baby girl at around 12:35 a.m. on January 1.
Nurse Nathia Gundran said the baby weighed 3.5 kilos and was the first recorded birth in Cagayan de Oro for 2014. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)