Health dept says based on bullet’s trajectory, 15-year-old was hit by stray bullet

Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial said Monday they still consider the 15-year-old girl from Malabon City as a stray bullet victim despite police claims that she was the victim of a "shooting incident".

"Because of the trajectory of the (bullet in the) gunshot wound, we are still categorizing it as a stray bullet from indiscriminate firing," Ubial said, noting that as such, they are not retracting their declaration on Sunday that the teenager was felled by a stray bullet.

She however said that they would be ready to take back their pronouncement once the circumstances of the case have been confirmed.

The girl, Emilyn Villanueva Calano, who was hit on the top of her head, is on a coma at the Surigical Intensive Care Unit of the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRRMMC) in Manila.

JRRMMC chief, Dr. Emmanuel MontaAa Jr., said that there is a probability that if the bullet is removed from her head through surgery, other parts of the brain would be affected, such as areas that control speech or movement.

According to the parents of the victim, their daughter was just watching the fireworks at about 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 near their residence, along with other children and relatives, when she suddenly slumped on the pavement. She was then taken to the hospital.

Following the health department's pronouncement that she was a stray bullet victim, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) as well as the Malabon City police said the teenager was a victim of a "shooting incident" by a still unidentified person.

Source: Philippines News Agency