DAGUPAN CITY — Three days before New Year’s eve, Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, police regional office 1 director, ordered all banned firecrackers in Pangasinan seized.
In a talk to rank and file members of the Dagupan Police on Thursday, Sapitula ordered them to go out in the field and “confiscate all fireworks and firecrackers that need to be confiscated”.
While here, he outlined his target for “zero incident on stray bullets and indiscriminate firing, and if possible zero firecracker injury”.
He directed the policemen to move and seize the bigger firecrackers that need to be kept out from the public before these can be distributed to potential victims, especially children.
Sapitula said in densely populated areas like Dagupan, cases of firecracker injuries is expected but should be minimized, thus the banned firecrackers must be seized now.
Asked what the police would do if residents of Barangay Pogo Grande here would insist on exploding big firecrackers at noontime on January 1 in observance of the residents’ yearly tradition, Sapitula said it does not mean that all traditions are right.
The law says it is unlawful to explode firecrackers and this must be enforced whether someone is observing a tradition or not, he added, short of saying that if the people in that village will still observe their unlawful traditions, they will be arrested.
He advised the people of Pogo Grande to designate a firecracker zone and use only those that are allowed under Executive Order No. 28 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.
A report stated that Pogo Grande residents will instead hold a mini-“kalutan” (grilling of milkfish in the street) this year instead of exploding firecrackers, which had been their tradition in the previous years.
The executive order of the President limits the black powder in firecrackers to not more than two grams, Sapitula said, adding that this order would be implemented to the letter in Region 1.
“What I hate most is indiscriminate firing especially by policemen, Sapitula said, adding that policemen who violate this order would pay dearly for his indiscretion.
But the campaign, he said, must be started by all policemen with themselves.
At the same time, he said the usual taping of gun muzzles would not be done this year as he directed policemen to only discharge their firearms in case of emergency and to protect lives.
He reiterated that under the one-strike policy of PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, a police chief would be relieved if there would be indiscriminate firing in his area during the New Year revelry that would not be resolved within 24 hours. PNA-northboundasia.com