CHRISTMAS was generally peaceful in Region 7.
Fourteen persons, though, were hurt by discarded firecrackers and one was struck by a stray bullet.
Of the victims, 13 were from Cebu—five from Cebu City, two from Lapu-Lapu City two from Mandaue, one from Minganilla, one from the City of Naga and one from Talisay--one from Bohol and one from Negros Oriental.
The case of the stray bullet was reported in Cebu City.
Reynante Porlasin, a 38-year-old welder from Talisay City, was arrested yesterday after police discovered that his gunshot wound was self-inflicted. It was earlier reported that Porlasin was a victim of a stray bullet.
However, it turned out that a drunk Porlasin fell after attending a Christmas party on Christmas eve in Barangay Tabunok, and the unlicensed 9mm pistol tucked in his waistband fired, hitting him in the right leg and foot.
It wasn’t until the next day when he sought treatment at the hospital that he was reported to authorities.
Senior Supt. Angelito Dumangeng, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7’s directorial staff chief, said they did not receive any reports of injuries due to indiscriminate firing.
“We had a very peaceful Christmas celebration,” he told reporters yesterday.
Dumangeng said he is in favor of a total ban on firecrackers, but admitted it is hard to stop a tradition.
He said they will possibly tape the muzzles of the police officers’ firearms to prevent indiscriminate firing to welcome the New Year.
He also thanked local government units for putting up firecracker zones.
Investigators, however, are looking for the person who fired a gun in Barangay Cogon, Compostela.
A slug was found in a bed inside a house in the area past midnight last Monday. No one was hit.
Compostela Police Chief Junafe Vergara said they have conducted information drive against indiscriminate firing, but added that there are stubborn people who continue to use unlicensed firearms in lieu of firecrackers.
Vergara reminded her personnel not to fire any firearms on Christmas and New Year.
In Barangay Magcagong, Sibonga, a farmer landed in the hospital after he was shot by an unidentified man last Monday night.
Dumangeng said the lower units have been informing the public about the dangers of using unlicensed firearms and banned firecrackers.
In Cebu City, City Police Director Joel Doria said that Mabolo police responded to an alarm in Lower RD, PC Hills last Monday afternoon after a retired police officer allegedly fired his firearm.
Baltazar Paunil, 58, was arrested for drunkenness and alleged illegal discharge of firearm at 4:32 p.m.
When police officers arrived, Paunil surrendered and turned over his .45 pistol with four live bullets. It license had expired.
Paunil will be charged with violating Article 254 for illegal discharge of firearms, City Ordinance 1929 for drunkenness and Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearm Regulation and Ammunition Act. 1226. (JKV, KAL, JOB)