PRO-Cor reports generally peaceful New Year celebration in CAR

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Jan. 4 (PIA) -- The Police Regional Office – Cordillera recorded a generally peaceful and orderly Christmas and New Year celebrations in the region.

"Christmas and New Year celebrations were generally peaceful and orderly in the entire Cordillera," PRO-Cor Regional Director Police Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana said in an interview.

Nana said there was no recorded stray bullet victim or incident of indiscriminate firing or illegal discharge of firearms whatsoever during the New Year revelry.

The PRO-Cor forwent the traditional muzzle taping of the service firearms of the police personnel before the Christmas and New Year celebration, and Nana said this proved to be effective since police officers and other uniformed personnel should be the first to be responsible gun owners who should not shoot indiscriminately during celebrations.

There were, however, 12 cases of firecracker and fireworks- related injuries recorded by the PNP and the Department of Health in the region from December 16, 2018 to January 4, 2019. The figure is lower compared to the 25 cases recorded last year.

The province of Abra recorded the highest incident of with 10 cases and one case each for Kabugao, Apayao and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao .Baguio City and the provinces of Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain Province recorded zero firecracker-related cases.

Of the 12 victims, one was a female. Three were passive while 12 were active firecracker users. Most of the victims suffered minor injuries such as burns, abrasions blisters and lacerations.

The youngest victim was an 11-month old baby from Zone 5, Bangued, Abra who accidentally ingested firecracker powder. Other children-victims include a 7-year old boy from Abang, Bucay, Abra who suffered corneal burn due to the use of improvised "boga" and another 7-year old boy from Bangued, Abra who suffered abrasion on his right hand due to the use of kwitis

The oldest victim was a 53-year old male from Bucay, Abra who suffered laceration wounds on his right hand due to 5 Star.

Nana also reported that police operatives in Kalinga on New Year's eve arrested John Lerry Tuboran, 26 and Aznodine Sulta, 23, after they were caught selling illegal firecrackers in Dagupan Centro, Tabuk City. Confiscated from the suspects were 14 packs of "pla-pla" containing 100 pieces each.

Also on New Year's eve, operative of the Baguio City Police Office confiscated 140 pieces of luces, 500 pieces 5-Star, 19 pieces of various fountains, 192 pieces of sparklers, 400 pieces of piccolo, and nine boxes of party pack fireworks while conducting anti-illegal selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices operations. Unfortunately, no arrest was made as vendors were able to leave the scene before police arrived.

Nana said that the strengthened campaign of the PNP against illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices and the 24-hour patrolling of police especially on Christmas and New Year's Eve contributed to the reduction of incidents related to firecracker in the region.

"Through the cooperation between the police, the community, the local government units and other stakeholders and the constant reminders on the dangers of the use firecrackers and fireworks, we achieved better results," said Nana.

Meanwhile, Nana is encouraging more local government units in the Cordillera to ban selling and use of fireworks and instead spearhead community fireworks displays.

The PRO-Cor will remain on full alert status until orders are given and will closely work with DOH in the monitoring of firecracker-related incidents. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)

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