1,500 boxes of piccolo seized in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 December) — Police operatives in South Cotabato province seized around 1,500 boxes of the banned piccolo firecracker in a series of operations over the weekend in Tupi town.

Senior Supt Jose Briones, South Cotabato police director, said Monday they confiscated the illegal firecrackers from three traders who were confirmed to have been openly selling them in the area.

He said he had ordered the Tupi police station to step up its operations against the selling of illegal firecrackers after the area posted 10 confirmed injuries due to piccolo since November 30.

A report released by Chief Insp. Larry Salcedo, Tupi police chief, said they recovered a total of 1,583 boxes of piccolo worth around P25,000 in their operations in the last two days.

He said the illegal items were seized from three traders identified as Jocelyn Saquil Jamindang, Datu Taya Talib Colano and Noradin Cabuyao Sampulna, who reportedly operate in Barangays Poblacion and Bunao.

Salcedo said he will recommend the revocation of the licenses of the three traders for violation of Republic Act (RA) 7183 or the “Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices.”

Briones said they will continue with the intensified operations against illegal firecrackers in the next three days within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

He directed all chiefs of police in the area to enforce the provisions of RA 7183 and make sure that the designated areas for the selling of the regulated firecrackers and fireworks are properly followed.

The official urged local traders, especially the sari-sari stores and ambulant vendors, to refrain from selling firecrackers and fireworks.

The South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office earlier reported that a number of firecracker victims in the province, specifically of piccolo, were able to purchase the items from sari-sari stores and ambulant vendors.

“They (sari-sari stores and ambulant vendors) are not allowed to distribute and sell any firecracker or firework. The selling and even buying of piccolo is prohibited,” Briones said.

He warned that aside from the confiscation of the items, violators could face charges in connection with RA 7183.

Under RA 7183, firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices that have more than the allowable explosive content are strictly prohibited.

Among the banned materials are watusi or the “dancing firecracker,” piccolo, super lolo, atomic big triangulo, mother rockets, lolo thunder, pillbox, boga, big Judah’s belt, big bawang, goodbye Philippines, kabasi, five star, pla-pla, OG, giant whistle bomb and unlabeled firecrackers.

“I’m appealing to everyone to refrain from buying or using any firecracker or firework. We can celebrate the New Year by using horns and other noise-making materials to make sure that we will be injury-free in 2015,” he added. (MindaNews)