MANILA, Philippines - Even Malacañang is grieving over a 7-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet during the New Year festivities.
"The nation comes together in grief," the Palace said in a press statement Wednesday, referring to the outrage over the death of Stephanie Nicole Ella, who suffered a fatal head injury after being hit by a stray bullet.
"Together with the Filipino people, we extend our deepest sympathies to Stephanie's family. No one should experience the overwhelming heartbreak that her family is now enduring, especially during a season of celebration and hope," the Palace said.
"This tragedy is a sobering reminder of how a reprehensible act from a thoughtless individual can rob our people, particularly our children, of their futures," it added.
"For such a promising life to be lost in such a senseless way puts the burden on all of us to make certain that this tragedy is not repeated. We continue to call on all Filipinos: Let us consider the welfare of our countrymen by engaging in celebrations in a responsible and safe manner," Malacañang said.
On Wednesday, an advocate against guns said it will take political will to ensure that no Filipino is hurt during the New Year celebration due to stray bullets or firecrackers.
Nandy Pacheco, founder of the Gunless Society, said many people are hurt by firecrackers during the annual New Year revelry.
"We need political solution in the sense na magpasa ng batas na gagawing krimen ang paggawa at pagbenta ng paputok," he told radio dzMM.
He said stricter gun control laws can also curb if not altogether stop casualties and fatalities due to stray bullets.