CORDILLERA Police Regional Office director Chief Supt. Elmo Francis O. Sarona yesterday said they
have recorded a generally peaceful Yuletide Season in the region topped by a massive reduction in
firecracker-related injuries and a lone case of indiscriminate firing since December 16.
During the period, the official said they only recorded 18 firecracker-related injuries
compared to the 26 in 2016. The incidents were recorded as follows: Abra has 2, Apayao (3), Benguet
(5), Baguio City (3), Kalinga-(3), Ifugao and Mountain Province (1 each).
Sarona said no stray bullet-related incident was reported during the period compared to two
incidents in 2016 or 2017, compared with two incidents for the year 2016. The lone case of
indiscriminate firing in Abra is also lower compared to three recorded incidents in 2016, he added.
According to the Cordillera police director, his men’s aggressive operation against
indiscriminate firing during the Christmas and New Year revelry resulted in the arrest of one
suspect, identified as Roldan Bello Galbe.
Galbe was arrested on the night of December 29 after he fired his caliber .22 Llama semi-
automatic pistol several times in the air in Bgy. Poblacion, Villaviciosa, Abra.
Sarona attributed the noteworthy improvement to the full vigilance of the police, coupled
with the full support of the community in enforcing the prohibitions against the use of illegal
firecrackers and indiscriminate firing of guns.
“I am very pleased with this significant reduction in the number of firecracker-related injuries region-wide and want to congratulate my men for their highest display of discipline and
vigilance throughout the holiday season as no personnel from the Cordillera police got involved in
incidents of indiscriminate firing,” he said.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa on Tuesday said
they recorded no stray bullet-related deaths and an ‘all-time’ low record in firecracker injuries
during the recent Christmas and New Year revelries.
According to him, this year’s firecracker casualties is 68 percent lower than last year’s.
“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.