Random Thoughts

Still, their best was not good enough

By Leonardo Micua

THE report released by the Department of Health (DOH) that firecracker injuries this year declined by at least 35 percent and there was no death recorded whatsoever as compared to last year’s statistics, is not something they should really crow about, bluntly speaking. 

The fact that there are still some bone-headed Filipinos who were hurt for exploding firecrackers in the just concluded New Year revelries could only mean one thing–that law enforcement was again a failure in some areas.

Again, there is again a failure on the part of law enforcement agencies and even local governments to implement fully Executive Order No, 28 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017, which put more stringent regulations to the manufacture and sale of firecrackers. 

The police probably did their best to curb the manufacture and sale of firecrackers, especially the banned ones, but sadly their bests were not enough, that still resulted in injuries to some of our people this year.

It appears that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is not satisfied with the 35 percent decrease in the number of firecracker injuries this year. We heard he is reviving previous proposals for the imposition of an absolute ban on the sale and manufacture of any type of firecrackers throughout the country.  

To my mind, that could be the cure-all panacea to the whole nation if the total ban is imposed finally. 

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On New Year’s Day, I chanced on seeing a man from Bolinao, Pangasinan who was being wheeled out of the surgical ward of the Region 1 Medical Center grimacing in pain after doctors severed his four fingers on his right hand, leaving him with just his little finger to serve him.

He, too, suffered injuries on his face as well as his body and would have to be confined at R1MC till his injuries from exploding Goodbye Philippines completely heal.    

Journalists were informed that the man, a 27-year old was intoxicated when he exploded the banned firecracker, which he probably bought from a street vendor who had access to an underground manufacturer somewhere.

Our mole says that vendors were careful not to give hint of possession of banned firecrackers as they could risk the confiscation by cops who inspect their stalls from time to time. They kept these elsewhere and only dared to bring these out to buyers known to them.  It is still a wonder why the cops never got the wind of this modus. 

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This brings to mind a photo video circulated on Facebook coincidentally on New Year’s day clearly showing Pangasinan Police Provincial Director Colonel Redrico Maranan–and with Police Chief,  Lt. Colonel Abubakar Mangelen Jr. beside him– berating four suspects at the Dagupan City Police Station, who were earlier caught by the police hanging Goodbye Philippines firecrackers on electric wires, (or were  these telephone cables?) before they could be simultaneously fired. 

Col. Maranan should throw the books on these people to teach them a lesson they could not forget in their lifetimes if only to impress upon the public that the police in Pangasinan means business. 

We last witnessed the hanging of inter-connected firecrackers strung on telephone cables across the streets a few years ago during a noon-day New Year’s revelry in Pogo Grande, Dagupan. I was told that tradition has been stopped with the issuance by President Duterte of Executive Order No. 28 in 2017.

A possible move to resurrect this noisy tradition this year was foiled with the quick and timely arrest by the Dagupan Police of some people who were caught in the act of preparing the firecrackers to be exploded.   

But to my mind, the better action would have been to put the illegal manufacturers in check in their respective houses, yes respective houses.

Hadn’t we reported early on that two persons died and another two injured when five houses in Barangay Bacayao Norte were razed to the ground from a fire that originated from a suspected firecracker factory?

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