Police: Holiday season 'generally peaceful'-A A +A
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
MANILA -- The traditional celebration of the Christmas season and New Year was "generally peaceful" nationwide despite the hundreds of firecracker victims recorded so far, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.
The PNP attributed this "generally peaceful situation" to the "intensified nationwide campaign" against prohibited firecrackers and indiscriminate gun-firing following the orders of President Benigno Aquino III.
In Metro Manila, 215 retailers and distributors of prohibited firecrackers were arrested while nine others were also nabbed for indiscriminate firing of guns during the Holiday revelry, according to Director Leonardo Espina, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.
Banned firecrackers worth P1.65 million were confiscated in 512 separate operations.
Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, congratulated local police commanders and his counterpart officials of national government agencies for "successfully minimizing Yuletide casualties this year."
Police authorities also made their holiday assessment as they noted "fewer" casualties and injuries in the Christmas and New Year revelries.
Initial assessment by the Department of Health (DOH) showed a 17 percent decrease in firecracker-related injuries since December 21.
The DOH said 413 fireworks-related injuries from 6 a.m., December 21, 2012 to 5:59 a.m., January 1, 2013.
Of the said figure, 404 injuries were due to fireworks, eight from stray bullets and one from firework ingestion.
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona expressed optimism that the final tally will be significantly lower than last year based on early observations of less crowded hospitals in the past 24 hours.
However, he also noted that "it is too early to conclude" that authorities had a better campaign this year based on the DOH report alone.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday a total of 680 firework-related injuries were reported in Metro Manila and in other regions.
Stray bullets also injured 17 people and killed a four-year-old child from Mandaluyong City. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)