Record zero death through holiday season — PNP
MANILA, Philippines – There has been no reported death amid the 324 firecracker and stray bullet incidents recorded in the lead-up to the celebration of Christmas and New Year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said as of Wednesday, January 1.
According to PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, the zero-fatality record was based on the police tally that started on December 16. At least 81 of the incidents were recorded on from New Year’s Eve up to the first day of 2020.
“As of the first working hour of New Year’s Day, the PNP recorded only 81 firecracker-related injuries, mostly self-injuries by violators of the firecracker ban,” Banac said in a statement.
“Although there were three reported stray bullet incidents, these did not result in injuries. On the other hand, seven persons were reported injured in 21 separate cases of illegal discharge of firearms,” he added.
Banac also relayed that 21 individuals have already been arrested for the illegal discharge of firearms, and 44 others for using banned firecrackers or for lighting them in restricted areas.
Among those arrested is Chinese national Kimy Chan, who fired an unlicensed gun on Christmas Day near a karaoke bar in Roxas Boulevard. Of the 21 who opened fire, 14 were civilians, one was a PNP personnel, two were from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, one was a member of an auxiliary force, and another three were security guards.
The PNP spokesperson claimed that this season’s holiday celebrations may be considered as one of the most peaceful celebrations because of the zero casualties reported.
“Based on PNP records, 2019 probably goes down in history as the safest and most uneventful observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays that posted zero death,” Banac noted.
“It should be noteworthy that the 324 incidents recorded in 2019 pales in comparison with the 798 recorded in 2018,” he added.
In return, Banac thanked the public for following their advice, which was to celebrate the New Year safe from harm.
“(PNP) extends the gratitude and commendation of national leadership to the Filipino nation for the generally peaceful and orderly observance of the traditional holiday season that ushered year 2020 at midnight last night,” he said.
“We are grateful that the people heeded our call to shun the age-old tradition of welcoming the new year with dangerous firecrackers and gunfire that has resulted in death and injuries in previous years,” he added.