PNP hails DOH for #IwasPaputok success

Mara Cepeda
PNP hails DOH for #IwasPaputok success
(UPDATED) The number of fireworks-related injuries is 60% lower than the 5-year average from 2011 to 2015

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa praised the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies for the “resounding success” of the campaign to lessen firecracker-related injuries this year.

“I would like to extend the congratulations of the Philippine National Police to the Department of Health and other government agencies and local government units for the resounding success of the national campaign to minimize fireworks-related injuries this holiday season,” Dela Rosa said in a statement Sunday, January 1. 

As of 6 am on Sunday, the health department noted 350 fireworks-related injuries as Filipinos welcomed 2017. The figure is 60% lower than the 5-year average from 2011 to 2015.

“This noteworthy improvement can be attributed to the vigilance of the police with the support of the community in enforcing prohibitions against illegal firecrackers and indiscriminate firing of guns, the heightened awareness of the public through government and NGO information efforts, and the inter-agency coordination by health officials, local governments, and law enforcement,” said the PNP chief.

‘No serious incidents

According to Dela Rosa, the PNP’s regional offices arrested 18 persons for distributing and selling illegal firecrackers. The police also received 11 emergency calls through hotline 911. 

“But overall, the entire holiday season has been generally peaceful with no serious untoward incidents reported by the Police Regional Offices,” said Dela Rosa.

From 5 pm on December 31 to 5 am on January 1, the PNP noted 3 cases of stray bullets, with all incidents still being probed by the police.

Zenaida Gonzales was watching television inside her home in San Jose, Batangas when a stray bullet from an a still unknown caliber of FA hit the back of her right ear. She was rushed to the San Jose district hospital for treatment.

Another stray bullet hit Leomar Aquino who lives in Barangay Batasan, Quezon City. He is confined at the East Avenue Medical Center.

Gian Pernacilla of Tipas, Taguig City was also hit by a stray bullet. He is currently confined at the Rizal Medical Center.

The DOH earlier reported that a 15-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet in Malabon City, but the PNP later clarified that she was injured through a shooting incident.

Arrested for gun-related offenses were 15 people – 13 of whom are civilians, one from the PNP, and one from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Another 13 people – 4 police officers and 9 civilians – are under investigation for illegal discharge of firearms. 

“As I have fairly warned, PNP personnel found to have violated the specific directive against indiscriminate firing and illegal discharge of firearms shall face the full brunt of the PNP disciplinary system without prejudice to criminal prosecution as warranted by evidence,” said Dela Rosa.

“Civilian violators, on the other hand, shall be prosecuted accordingly,” he added. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.