PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa yesterday said they recorded no stray bullet-related death and an “all-time” low firecracker injuries during the recent Christmas and New Year revelries.
“I am happy to announce that the PNP recorded a zero-casualty on stray bullet incident and an all-time low record in firecracker injuries in our campaign for a peaceful and safer celebration of the holiday season under ‘Ligtas Paskuhan 2017,” Gen. Dela Rosa said during a press conference at Camp Crame.
Gen. Dela Rosa said this year’s firecracker casualties is 68 percent lower compared to last year’s number of firecracker casualties.
“But comprising this year’s number of firecracker casualties to that of the average number of casualties in the last five-year period, we have recorded a 77 percent decrease in the number of firecracker casualties,” he said.
Gen. Dela Rosa said police during the period also arrested 26 persons composed of 20 civilians, four policemen and two members of the Armed Forces for illegal discharge of firearms.
Another 74 were arrested for illegal possession/sale of banned firecrackers during the same period which also saw the PNP hauling around P390,000 worth of illegal firecrackers.
The PNP chief attributed this all-time low record decrease of casualties as a result of stray bullets and exploding firecrackers to five factors topped by President Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order 28.
Others are the local government unit’s support in the implementation of EO 28 by designating a total of 3,495 Community Fireworks Display Zone; the public vigilance against indiscriminate firing; the PNP’s 100 percent deployment during Christmas and New Year’s Eve; and the PNP’s intensified campaign against illegal manufacture and selling of firecrackers.
“I would like to congratulate our police personnel for the effective operations and campaign on illegal firecrackers which resulted in ‘all-time low’ incidents and casualties. I would also like to thank the public for your unwavering support to the PNP and to our President for issuing Executive Order No. 28 that led to a peaceful celebration of New Year,” he said.
Gen. Dela Rosa thanked the citizens who reported their discovery of slugs at their homes to the local police, including one particular incident in Cagayan de Oro City.
He said the slugs turned over to the police will be subjected to ballistics examination to determine if they were fired from a licensed firearm or a gun which has been previously used in the commission of a crime.
“The slugs will be subjected to cross-matching examination,” he said.
Dela Rosa stressed that their massive campaign against indiscriminate firing and banned firecrackers also contribute well in their all-time low record on firecracker injuries particularly in areas where major firecracker-related incidents were recorded in the past.
He also thanked the regional directors who directed their men to go around in public markets with public address system announcing those who will violate EO 28 will spend Christmas and New Year in jail.
“It really worked,” Dela Rosa said of the public awareness campaign and repeated warnings.