4 traders in Region 12 charged for selling prohibited firecrackers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 8 Jan) – Police authorities in Region 12 have filed charges for violation of the firecracker and pyrotechnics law against four traders who were caught selling illegal materials in the recent Christmas and New Year holidays.

Chief Supt. Lester Camba, Region 12 police director, said Thursday the four traders were among the 29 in the region found to have violated the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7183 and related local ordinances.

RA 7183 regulates “the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.”

He said they filed the four cases last Jan. 5, the first official working day after the long holiday break.

“We will be filing a total of 29 cases and most of these involved traders with proper business licenses who engaged in the selling of illegal firecrackers and fireworks,” Camba said.

Police units in Region 12 earlier launched a series of raids against illegal firecrackers and fireworks or pyrotechnics in compliance with a directive issued by the Police Regional Office 12 and the Philippine National Police central office.

During the raids, Camba said they arrested a total of 19 persons and confiscated nearly P500,000 worth of illegal items.

He said the biggest haul was in South Cotabato, followed by Cotabato City and North Cotabato.

The South Cotabato police earlier reported two major operations in the municipalities of Tupi and Polomolok that netted around P125,000 worth of illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

The official said most of the 29 traders facing charges were able to escape and evade arrest during the raids.

But he said they were able to identify them based on the business registration documents for their firecracker stalls.

He said the illegal firecrackers found at the stalls will serve as evidences in the cases against the erring traders.

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.

The Departments of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry had issued prohibitions regarding the use and sale of the said firecrackers and fireworks.

Camba earlier said they concentrated their operations on piccolo, which caused the most number of firecracker-related injuries in the region in the past holidays.