Sorry I forgot, says Davao barangay official nabbed in firecracker ban

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 3 Jan) – The barangay kagawad nabbed for violating the city’s firecracker ban said he forgot that pyrotechnics were included in the ordinance and proceeded to light up the devices last January 1.

In an interview aired at SuperRadyo Saturday, Barangay Mintal kagawad Eduardo Santander apologized to his constituents and said he was ready to face the charges against him.

Santander was interviewed prior to his inquest proceedings Saturday.

The barangay official added he found it ironic that he was apprehended by policemen at the police station he himself asked to be built during his earlier terms as barangay councilor.

Santander is on his fifth term.

Asked why he lit up the fireworks, Santander said he became envious of the fireworks celebrations of other LGUs he visited and did not know that these were included in the ban.

He said he has not yet spoken with Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte about the incident.

Santander was arrested and detained at the Mintal Police Station after being apprehended for using pyrotechnics during the New Year’s eve celebrations.

The use, manufacture, possession and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnics is prohibited in the city and is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of P5,000 through an ordinance passed in 2002.

Earlier, barangay chief Ramon Bargamento told MindaNews they were still seeking advice from the Department of Interior and Local Government whether there would be sanctions against the official.

“It’s very easy to spot violators of the ban,” Bargamento said. “It’s very quiet in the barangay.”

The ordinance also punishes suspected violators with jail time of around 20 days or a fine of a minimum of P1,000.

The barangay chief added he was confused as to why the barangay official would break the ordinance.

“His children even stopped him, but he did not listen,” Bargamento said.

Santander said he was not drunk during the incident. “I don’t drink,” he said. “I was just amused by the fireworks and wanted to share it with my community.”