THE Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is now investigating two reported incidents of illegal discharge of firearms in the city during the New Year revelry.

DCPO Director Senior Superintendent Ramon Apolinario said the incidents happened in Sasa and Matina areas and police were able to recover two slugs, which will be cross-matched with the police’s own records to determine the owner of the firearms.

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Apolinario said they also received a text message identifying one individual of having fired a gun during the celebration. He said that individual will also be investigated.

The DCPO chief said that despite the two incidents of gun fires during the New Year revelry, no one was reported to have been hit by stray bullet.

Complaint filed

A complaint has already been filed against a certain PO1 Oliver John Samoya, 27, assigned at the Malita police station, resident of Barangay Ula, Biao Tienda, Tugbok district, Davao City.

The complaint was filed before the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11.

Samoya was endorsed to the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Development and Doctrine Division (RPHRDD) acting Chief Senior Superintendent Perpetou Macion under the Investigation Detection and Management Section (IDMS) of DCPO last Saturday.

Samoya is reportedly part of the Field Training Program of the Malita police station under the Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office (DSPPO).

Samoya was brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for paraffin testing. The firearm of Samoya was among those sealed before the start of the holidays.

The IDMS is presently awaiting results of Samoya's paraffin test as part of the investigation.

Illegal discharge of firearms is prohibited by law. Police and military personnel even underwent inspection before and after the holidays to determine if they fired their guns illegally. The tip of their guns are even plastered with masking tapes and signed for easy determination once they fired their guns.

A total of 93 people, majority of them are minors, meanwhile, were arrested by police authorities in Davao City during the New Year celebration.

Apolinario said 58 minors of the 93 are accosted for violation of the Davao City Firecracker Ordinance 060-02. The remaining 35 are adults.

"Pinakamarami sa Toril with 10 adults and 29 minors arrested. Next is Bunawan with 10 adults and 8 minors. Minors were released thru the social welfare representatives, barangay captains and respected parents while adults are still detained awaiting filing of cases," Apolinario said.

The city meanwhile recorded zero casualty for injuries sustained due to firecracker incidents.

"Merong mga nahuli sa Bangkerohan who was selling firecrackers, and sa Calinan, where naconfiscate natin ang isang bodega na maraming firecrackers. Majority of these apprehensions were done in the boundaries of Tibungco, Bunawan and Toril Areas," Apolinario said during Monday's Kapihan sa SM media forum.

Apolinario said the number of apprehension rose in 2009 compared with 2008 as the DCPO added measures.

"Mas marami ngayon kasi as early as lunch time pa lang pinaikot ko na ang police to apprehend all who are selling or in possession of firecrackers. If I'm not mistaken, there were 52 or 53 apprehended last year, both adults and minors," Apolinario said.

"Yung sa adults, cases will be filed against them for the violation of the city ordinance and they will be paying the corresponding fine. I have given instructions to the different station commanders they should file the case first thing today (Monday)," Apolinario said.

"As for the minors, they are being released to their respected parents through the coordination with the CSSDO (City Social Services and Development Office) and the barangay captains. We've started this during the weekend," Apolinario said.

"Unfortunately, hindi namin ma-trace where the fireworks came from. We were only able to get text messages kung saan daw nila kinukuha. Sabi daw, galing daw ng Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro but to confirm on this we will be having a hard time doing that," Apolinario said. (BOT with report from Jade C. Zaldivar and Lager Dura)