PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Robredo says 2012 New Year’s Eve revelry 'generally safer' than in 2011
MANILA, Jan. 5 (PIA) -- Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on Tuesday said the New Year revelry was "generally peaceful and safer" compared to previous years' celebrations, with lesser number of fire incidents and firecracker injuries.
“We’re still collating reports from the field. But initially, reports reaching my office indicate that the 2012 New Year’s eve celebration was more peaceful and safer than in previous years,” he said.
The DILG chief said the drop in reports of fire incidents, firecracker-related injuries, and victims of stray bullets indicate that the government’s “Iwas-Paputok” campaign and the drive against banned and dangerous firecracker products was a success.
“Our objective was ‘zero-casualties’ from firecracker-related injuries. Initial reports said there were more than 300 persons injured from firecrackers for the month of December. Although we have lesser casualties now compared to last year, we intend to reduce that number this year,” he said.
On reports that there were 18 people who were victims of stray bullets, Robredo directed PNP Chief Nicanor Bartolome to order his field investigators to gather the bullet slugs recovered from the victims and subject them to ballistics test to determine, if possible, on whose firearms they were fired from.
Last year, 30 persons were hit by stray bullets during the Holiday seasons. “The PNP Crime Lab has the Integrated Ballistics Identification System equipment which can compare the slugs to the ballistics records of licensed firearms the PNP Firearms and Explosives Division has on file,” he said.
“Also, we will subject to paraffin test some police officers who reportedly fired their guns during the New Year revelry. We will reveal their names once we have determined they have violated the ban against indiscriminate firing,” he added.
Based on initial reports, Robredo also disclosed there were only 12 fire incidents that were recorded in Metro Manila during the New Year revelry as fire officials in the region, who were on red alert status, conducted last-minute warnings to the public Saturday night.
BFP-NCR records indicate that there were 277 fire incidents in Metro Manila for the month of December in 2010 and this was reduced to 188 for the same month in 2011.
The BFP-NCR led by Chief Superintendent Santiago Laguna on Saturday night led a motorcade of BFP and other local fire volunteer firetrucks that roamed Metro Manila streets as part of its campaign against illegal firecrackers and other fire hazards.(RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)