MANILA, Philippines - Newly installed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima warned Filipinos against using illegal firecrackers, vowing to punish vendors found selling them.
Purisima also ordered his men not to greet the New Year with their firearms.
"Otherwise, you will certainly end up regretting for the entire 2013 or even in your entire life why you dare defy my order," he said in a December 24 press conference. "There are safer means to greet the New Year and our policemen should be the role model in the government's efforts against the use of dangerous pyrotechnic materials."
With the goal of reducing firecracker-related injuries, the PNP has partnered with the Department of Health (DOH), which is in charge of informing the public of dangers of firecracker use. The PNP is focused on inspecting factories and stores where firecrackers are made and sold.
In December 2011, the number of firecracker injuries surpassed the 170 yearly average in the previous 5 years.
Eye on the elections
Purisima also said that the PNP has been focused on election preparations for May 2013.
Outside the holiday security measures, Purisima said the PNP has been assessing high-risk areas and discussing what best practices to use on priority provinces.
He said they have also worked on accounting for loose firearms and private armed groups, and added that he has been satisfied so far with the PNP's efforts.
"Our main objective is to make the Filipino people feel safe as they go out and choose their next leaders and make sure that it is really the sovereign will of the people that is reflected in the election results," he said.
Purisima officially became the 18th chief of the PNP on Tuesday, December 18, replacing Director General Nicanor Bartolome. - Rappler.com