There was a lot of noise—from the shrieks of children aboard a convoy of vehicles going round and round the village, to the wailing of sirens and ambulances, the clanging of metal against metal—as people went around banging pans and ladles and rhythmically honking cars and revving car engines, as the city greeted the New Year.
Mayor Sara Duterte earlier warned people violating the 12-year ban on firecrackers she wouldn’t stop them from violating the law, but they would be dealt with severely if they were caught.
The Davao City police reported that at least 106 people, mostly minors, had been arrested for violating the firecracker ban.
Forty nine of the 106 were adults and will face charges of violating the city ordinance, according to Supt. Ronald de la Rosa, city police chief.
The 57 minors arrested, De la Rosa said, would undergo counseling before being turned over to their parents or the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
De la Rosa said at least 1,000 police forces in civilian clothes were deployed around the city to go after violators.
In Lamitan City in Basilan, two policemen and a civilian were injured when unidentified men lobbed a grenade at the detachment of the Special Action Force in the village of Maganda minutes before the new year.
Senior Insp. Kenneth Balisang, chief of the Lamitan City Police Station, identified the blast victims as Police Officers 1 Junifer Bolanos and Marvin Andulay Sumangpet and civilian Husam Mahontong.
Balisang said two suspects on a motorcycle lobbed the grenade around 11:50 p.m. Monday.
In Zamboanga City, three persons were wounded by stray bullets during the New Year revelry.
Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, Zamboanga City police chief, said two of the victims were residents of Mampang village while another was from Barangay Tugbungan.
Police recorded five cases of firecracker injuries in Zamboanga City.
De Ocampo said the heavy rain could have prevented residents from lighting firecrackers during the New Year revelry.