•AFP, PNP say only minor incidents recorded on X-mas, New Year
The police and military yesterday said that apart from some minor infractions, the New Year celebration went by without a hitch.
Meanwhile, no stray bullet, indiscriminate firing, confiscated items and firecracker-related injury were recorded by the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) compared to 11 illegal possession and sale of firecrackers last 2017.
For the Davao del Sur, 250 were apprehended for illegal possession, use or sale of firecrackers; 490 assorted firecrackers confiscated; two were arrested, two recorded for other firecracker-related incidents.
For Davao Del Norte, one report of stray bullet was reported and one piece of piccolo and another for kwitis were confiscated.
For Compostella Valley, there was no recorded any stray bullet or firecracker-related incident. There were no recorded items confiscated for 2018 as compared to 35 assorted firecrackers seized last 2017.
For Davao Occidental, only two were recorded for the illegal possession, use and sale of firecrackers for 2018 compared to the 63 seizures of firecrackers last 2017.
For Davao Oriental, 217 were recorded for the illegal possession, use and sale of firecrackers; two persons arrested for indiscriminate firing with the confiscation of one .45 caliber pistol; and one firecracker-related injury.
“By the way, there were fewer who violated the firecrackers ban compared to last 2017,” Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, the director of PRO XI said. “This is because of our continuous effort and information drive to the community.”
According to the report, there was a member of the 67th Infantry Battalion and a rebel returnee who were arrested for illegally discharging their firearms on Christmas day, around 7 p.m.
“In fact, the incidents this year were down compared to last year although we have recorded one stray bullet incident but there was no wounded,” Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, the director of Police Regional Office XI, said in yesterday’s AFP- PNP press briefing held at the Royal Mandaya hotel.
“We have also arrested (someone) who fired a gun but it is not indiscriminate firing because he is involved in an argument with a neighbor,” Morales said.
“So the implementation of security measures in the region is generally peaceful.”
Morales identified the suspects as Pfc. Junifort Agustin, an intelligence operative of the 67th IB based in Barangay Salingcomot, Baganga, Davao Oriental, and Marlon dela Torre, 21, a rebel returnee who is temporarily residing at the headquarters.
According to the report of Baganga Municipal Police Station, both suspects allegedly mauled Jose Julian, 69, a farmer; Archie Bragat, 37, a barber; and William Maldo, 50, a businessman, all residents of Bougainvillea, Barangay Lucod in Baganga.
He also reported pointed his gun at the victims at fired it in the air. However, Bragat managed to disarm his .45 caliber pistol. The suspects then ran away. They turned up at the police station later looking for their gun. Police then arrested and detained them.
For now, a case has been prepared to be filed against the suspects.
“He will be facing physical injury case and violation of R.A. 10591 and verification is ongoing if his gun is licensed or not, ” Morales said.
Brig. Gen. Faustino, in a statement, said they are not tolerating their soldiers who violate the law. He said they will leave it up to the police to investigate and file the case against the suspects.
Brig. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., the newly designated commander of 10th Infantry Division, said they recorded four encounters with the New People’s Army- two in Davao del Sur, one in Monkayo and one in Baganga Davao Oriental—during the Yuletide season.
“This is mainly because before the anniversary of the CPP- NPA on Dec. 26, the AFP did not declare a ceasefire because we know that this will just be taken advantage of by the other side so we went on an offensive during the Christmas and New Year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Task Force Davao deputy commander, Col. Randolf Cabangbang, said they imposed stricter checks at the entry points of Davao City after the bombing incident in Cotabato City. They also implemented random checks on major activities for the Pasko Fiesta.
“It was very successful with no untoward incidents that happened, even the Torotot festival,” Cabangbang said.
On the other hand, Sr. Supt. Alan Manibog, the director of Davao Del Sur Police Provincial Office (DSPPO), told TIMES yesterday that around 12:30 a.m. of Jan. 1, 2019, the Bansalan police station, recorded a firecracker incident in Barangay Tubod, Bansalan, Davao Del Sur.
The victims were only identified as Janic, 24, a resident of Tubod, Bansalan; and Felirita, 64, a resident of same place. They sustained minor injuries and discharged from Viacrusis Hospital after medical treatment around 12:45 a.m. of Jan. 1.
Reportedly a firecracker slipped through the roof of their house and exploded on their bedroom while they were sleeping.
Police also identified the violator, a 13-year-old student and neighbor. He was turned over to the Barangay Council Protection for Children.
In addition, Chief Supt. Morales also said there was a house hit by a stray bullet in Davao Del Norte.
“There was a bullet that landed on their rooftop but there was no wounded or casualty and that is the subject of investigation of the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office,” he said.
“The recovered slug was from a caliber .45,” he further said.
By Rhoda Grace B. Saron
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