TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Abra Gov. Estaquio Bersamin has called on Tayum, Abra residents to assist Police investigators in identifying the person who fired a caliber .45 pistol to celebrate the beginning of 2015—the bullet found its way to the head of an 11-year-old school girl, killing her hours later.
The girl, Jercy Decym Buenafe Tabaday, was with his father outside their house in Barangay Bumagcat, Tayum to watch the midnight New Year fireworks when the incident happened.
She was a fourth grader at the Bumagcat Elementary School.
The Guardian Reform Agenda for Cooperation and Economic Prosperity (Grace) also offered a P100,000 reward for any information leading to the identification and arrest of the unknown gunman.
Gov. Bersamin said Tayum is a small town and it should be easy for the police and the local government officers to pinpoint the culprit. The village residents play a crucial role, he insinuated, as everyone knows each one in the place.
“I urge you [townsfolk]to come forward and identify the perpetrator and give justice to the family of the victim,” Bersamin said.
The executive also ordered the Social Welfare and Development officers to give financial and other assistance to the bereaved parents.
“Friday sealed gun nozzles of all members of the Tayum Police Office were inspected and accounted for during a removal of tapes,” said Abra Police Provincial Director Albertlito Garcia.
The muzzles of guns issued to policemen in the country were sealed and signed before Christmas to ensure that police officers will not be among those who will fire their weapons indiscriminately as part of the season’s revelry.
Garcia already ordered an accounting of registered guns in Barangay Bumagcat for ballistic tests.
The Abra Police reported several stray bullet incidents during the New Year celebrations including that of 13-year-old Aeron Carl who was wounded inside their house in Manabo town, also in Abra.
In Luna, Apayao province, 23-year-old Elmer Pondasan was hit in the right ankle by a bullet of unknown caliber two hours before midnight.
In Enrile town, Cagayan, 12-year-old James Manicad was wounded by a cal. 45 bullet fired by a still unidentified reveler in Inga village, also on New Year’s eve. Manicad was at the church grounds with two friends when he thought he was hit by a stone at his back at around 8:45 pm.
He was rushed to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tugue-garao City where a fragment of a cal. 45 slug was extracted.