Cops admit stray bullets hard to trace

Cops admit stray bullets hard to trace

MANILA, Philippines - The reality, according to the Philippine National Police, is

that it is difficult to trace the source of stray bullets that kill or wound people.

"We have to face the reality that there's difficulty in building up a case against these individuals. We acknowledge that difficulty," PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said Saturday.

But Sindac said that despite this, the PNP would continue to pursue the investigation "of each and every case of stray bullets."

To date, the PNP said there had been two deaths and 29 injuries caused by stray bullets, a constant problem nationwide during the yearend holidays.

The fatalities from the indiscriminate firings included children.

Last Friday, two-year-old Rhanz Angelo Corpuz of Ilocos Norte succumbed to his wound while confined in a hospital. He was hit in the head by a stray bullet.

On Saturday, three-month-old Von Alexander Llagas was laid to rest in Ilocos Sur. The bullet hit the baby also in the head while he slept on New Year's Eve.

Other children were wounded as well, according to the PNP. They included Margareth Diane Vocal, 2, of Caniogan, Pasig City; Wilson Fulgencio, 8, of Tantangan, South Cotabato; Rosa Mia S. Deruta, 12, of Baclaran, Parañaque City, and Jestoni Obrador, 13, of Calatagan, Batangas.

The wounded adults were from different cities and provinces. They sustained wounds in the feet, chest, arm, head and thigh.

Sindac called on the public to help the law enforcers.

"We enjoin every member of the community to provide us with any information to help us solve the cases," Sindac said.

He said that in determining the source of a stray bullet, a police investigator not only has to find the firearm but "establish the connection between the firearm and the gunman."

"Every stage is a tall order. It's not an excuse for us because one injury or one death is too many. That is why we are exhausting all means and measures to be able to find who were responsible for this," Sindac said.

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