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Powerful Pinoy firecrackers can be turned into military projectiles—Honasan

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Senator Gregorio Honasan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The explosive punch of every “Goodbye, Philippines” or “Super Lolo” is strong enough for them to be categorized as high explosives and developed into indigenous military projectiles, according to Sen. Gregorio Honasan who reflects on Filipinos’ fondness for fiery, fatalistic and some say, even mindless New Year’s revelry.

Honasan, a former Army colonel and chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, took responsibility, on Saturday, for the lack of action on two bills that would have imposed stiffer firecracker control.

“What’s glaring here is the level of our firecrackers.  They’re in the category already of high explosives. The level of destruction and damage is amazing,” Honasan told the Inquirer.

“If we want to be imaginative… if we can push this as a component of our self-reliance program maybe we can develop—even [if] primitive—surface-to-surface missiles and surface-to-air missiles, with the kind of explosives we are using now,” added the senator, an advocate for a local weapons industry.

Honasan, nonetheless, expressed concern over the annual statistics of firecracker-related injuries both in the days leading to the New Year and during the actual New Year’s Eve celebration.

He offered no excuse for the inaction on the pending bills that could have somehow decreased the dangers posed by the firecrackers on Filipinos every year.

“I will have to admit some responsibility for that as the current chairman of the Senate committee on public order because of the workload and other priority bills that I also had pending in my committees. It really seems that these [firecracker control bills] weren’t really given attention,” Honasan said.

“We cannot ignore anymore the statistics related to injuries. So I accept full responsibility,” he added.

There are two firecracker control bills pending in Honasan’s committee.

One, authored by Sen. Manuel Villar, increases the penalty on illegal firecracker trade to a jail term of as long as 12 years and fines of up to P1 million.

The other, by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, totally bans firecrackers in residential areas and designates a public firecracker area in every barangay.

“What we’ll try to do is consolidate all these proposals and ordinances,” Honasan said.

He said some local government units already have ordinances banning firecrackers.

With only a few session days in before the close of the 15th Congress, Honasan vowed to push for a stronger firecracker control law in time for the next New Year’s Eve “if we are able to go back in 2013.”

Honasan is a re-electionist, running under the United Nationalist Alliance.

Asked what bills were prioritized by the committee during the past few years, Honasan said the committee passed the upgrading of the country’s fire code and the removal of the height requirement for prospective police officers.

Honasan is also the chair of the Senate committee on public information that shepherded the People’s Ownership of Government Information Bill. The chamber has already passed the Pogi Bill—the Senate’s version of the Freedom of Information Bill—on third and final reading.

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Tags: Explosives , firecracker regulation , Firecrackers , Gregorio Honasan , Legislation , Military , military projectiles , military weaponry , New Year , new year revelry , News , Senate

  • mike

    senador ba to o barbero? parang kutsero lang pag gumawa ng batas. tig-isa nalang kayo ng PLA-PLA jan sa senado at sindihan ko isa-isa.

  • nti_boohaya

    Aw seer you just found that out!?  Relectionist kayo siguro.  Anyways, komite po ninyo ay dangerous drugs, peace and order, bakit po di ninyo ginawaan ng paraan para mapalakas o mas mapadali ang pang implement ng mga batas laban sa mga yan? Kung mga paputok ato droga  ay matagal ng ginagamit ng mga kalaban (at mga ibang tiwaling naka uniporme) at you did not lift a finger, then seer you failed as a senator looking out for the welfare of the nation.  Good luck na lang sa susunod na halalan kasi binobola mo lang yata ang sambayanan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    “If we are able to go back” was Gringo’s hope so that he could work on the passage of a stronger firecracker control law. In your 6 years in the senate you were not able to act on the pending bills of Sen Villar and Sen Santiago?
    Kasi kung ano ang sabihin ni Enrile, yun naman ang gagawin mo!
    Wala kang sariling desisyon. Asa ka pang iboboto ulit sa 2013?

  • imongredneck

    Honasan, you are a failure.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EA7TIY7PYXEU5UOXG2K5CY5F64 Eric

    Blah blah blah…..sa Davao matagal ng walang paputok. Bayag ang kailangan Hindi bagong batas. Ibinenta mo yata yung sa yo. Honasan, magpahinga ka na. mayaman ka naman na siguro.

  • http://www.facebook.com/oustcorona ILL_HIT_YOUR_FACE

    My goodness?! Indigenous Weapons, paputok?!… Our engineers are capable more than that!

    Bigyan lang nang budget at program… they can do way better than that!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5EV2FNQUSNLESIPZKVIR43JSCI Juan Dela cruz

    Honasan, a former Army colonel and chair of the Senate committee on
    public order and dangerous drugs, took responsibility, on Saturday, for
    the lack of action on two bills that would have imposed stiffer
    firecracker control.

    “We cannot ignore anymore the statistics related to injuries. So I accept full responsibility,” Honasan added.

    * If they can’t impeach you, then you should resign because until now there are still  victims of powerful firecrackers… You are not doing your job as chair of the Senate committee on public order…

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