By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA – Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Brig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III on Sunday said the New Year’s Eve revelry in the city was generally peaceful except for one reported incident of indiscriminate firing and three firecracker related-injuries.

In a report submitted by Pasong Putik Police Station, Torre said the suspect for indiscriminate firing was identified as Ferdinand Bagundol, 40, a member of the Philippine Coast Guard assigned with General Services Division, Coast Guard Base Parola in Manila and resident of Barangay Kaligayahan, Quezon City.

He said the suspect, apparently under influence of liquor, was caught indiscriminately firing his gun several times by patrolling personnel of Police Station 16.

This prompted the cops to arrest the suspect around 8:37 p.m. Saturday along Don Ramon St., Hobart Subd., Barangay Kaligayahan, Quezon City. Recovered from his possession were one caliber pistol, two magazines with ammunition, and seven fired cartridge cases.

The suspect will be charged for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

Meanwhile, Torre said compared to last year, they have recorded fewer victims of firecracker-related injuries and this “could be attributed to our intensified campaign against illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnics which resulted in the confiscation of almost a million worth of prohibited firecrackers”.

“Malaking bagay po talaga iyong pagkontrol ng ating QC-LGU (local government unit) hingil sa paggamit ng paputok at magsagawa ng sariling fireworks display ang mga pribadong kabahayan at bagkus ay nagkaroon na lamang ng designated area tulad ng Quezon Memorial Circle at piling mga malls tulad ng Eastwood, SM and Robinsons, dahil dito mas nababantayan ng ating kapulisan itong mga area na ito (It is really significant that our QC-LGU controls the use of fireworks on private households having their own fireworks display and instead there were designated fireworks areas such as Quezon Memorial Circle and selected malls such as Eastwood, SM and Robinsons, because of this, our police can safeguard these areas better),” he said in a statement.

Torre said the QCPD’s intensified campaign against drugs and anti-criminality also helped in the maintenance of a generally peaceful celebration of the New Year.

He extended his New Year’s greetings to the families of all Quezon City policemen and also commended them for maintaining peace and order and for their sacrifices to ensure a peaceful celebration.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) welcomed the new year with zero incidents of jailbreaks, commotions, or even escape attempts.

In a separate statement, BJMP chief Jail Director Allan Iral commended the personnel for their vigilance and sacrifices to spend the new year guarding persons deprived of liberty (PDL) and for ensuring all their facilities secured throughout the holiday season.

“Maraming salamat sa mga disiplinado kong kasamahan sa BJMP sa kanilang matiyagang pagtitiyak ng kaayusan at katahimikan sa lahat ng mga pasilidad sa bansa (Many thanks to my disciplined colleagues at the BJMP for their tireless efforts to ensure peace and order in all jail facilities in the country),” Iral said.

Before the New Year celebration, Iral visited jail facilities in Calabarzon to check the orderliness of jails in handling visitors. He also reminded them to exercise extra efforts to beef up their security to prevent any jail incidents.

“I’m happy that all of our 478 districts, city and municipal jails recorded zero incidents as we welcome the year 2023. I hope we could maintain this throughout the year,” Iral added.

He also reminded all personnel to maintain discipline, to be compassionate, and to be of help to all PDL under their respective areas of assignment. (PNA)