No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

New Year’s call: End stray bullet horror

What was supposed to be a happy and exciting New Year’s celebration turned out to be a horror to a family in Maco, Davao de Oro.

Before the clock ticked 12:00AM of January 1, 2024, everyone was busy preparing for their firecrackers or “torotot” for the Filipino’s tradition of making noise to shoo away bad spirits and vibes at the start of the year.

For the Saraudin family in Barangay Hijo, Maco town, they just went outside to witness the skies lighted with different colors of the firecrackers. The mood was celebratory and exciting for the New Year’s meal until at around 12 midnight of January 1, 2024, 23-year old Louie Jay felt a sting in his back. Upon checking, he found a blood stain on his shirt. As they were assessing what caused the wound, his family found a gun shell in the area.

Immediately, Louie Jay was brought to Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte for treatment, and was released at around 3 A.M. of the same day.

His mom expressed her anger on Facebook and posted “Kung kinsa man ang tag iya aning saag na bala nakaigo sa abaga sa akong anak, sir, naa kay 

Photo: Maco MPS

pamilya unta gihunahuna nimo nga what if isa sa imong pamilya maigo ang saag nga bala, unsa kaha bation nimo? Bago ka nagpahambog nga naa kay armas kay mao imong gipaboto sugat sa bag-ong tuig. Pasalamat na lang mi kay sa abaga lang natunong ug simbako sa ulo, unsaon na lang? (To the owner of this stray that hit my son, sir, you have a family; you should have thought that if one of your family members was hit by a stray bullet, what would you feel then? Before you boast of owning a firearm since this is what you set off to welcome the New Year. We are still thankful that it just hit his shoulder and not his head because who know what will happen?)”

Photo: PLGU Davao de Oro

She added that she wanted to personally talk to the perpetrator to apprise him of how she felt as a mother to her child.

In a statement released in social media, Police Colonel Benedicto Faco, provincial director of the Davao de Oro Provincial Police Office (DDOPPO), ordered the conduct of thorough investigation in the gun owners in the area.

Faco also said that the recovered slug was turned over to the Regional Forensic Group 11 for ballistic examination and determination of caliber.

Meanwhile, Governor Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga strongly condemned the indiscriminate firing saying that such behavior has no place in the province community and undermines the safety and well-being the Dabawenyos.

“We stand together against this irresponsible conduct that has cast a shadow over what should have been a joyous occasion,” the chief executive stressed.

Governor Gonzaga urged the public to assist in resolving this case by providing any information they may have.

“The Provincial Government urges you to come forward and collaborate with the authorities. By working together, we can ensure that those responsible are held accountable and contribute to the overall safety of our beloved province.”

In the Fireworks Related Injury surveillance of the Department of Health, the case was the first recorded stray bullet incident (SBI) in the Philippines.

As of January 6, DOH reported a total of seven SBIs; however, the surveillance said that the number may increase in the next few days as there are still reported cases of SBIs that are still being validated. (MLU/PIA Davao de Oro)

About the Author

Michael Uy

Regional Editor / Writer

Region 11

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch