The police reported that 59 persons suffered firecracker blast injuries in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, while a minor was hit by a stray bullet in Victorias City, as Negrenses welcomed the New Year.
The towns and cities of Negros Occidental recorded 49 blast victims, provincial police spokesman, Chief Inspector Rico Santotome said, while Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz reported 10 in Bacolod City.
In 2010, there were 17 blast victims in Negros Occidental, and 26 in Bacolod, respectively, police records showed.
De la Paz said five of the 10 blast victims are minors.
Supt. Alexander Munoz also reported that John Winrich Hirochi, 5, suffered a minor injury in the left finger where he was hit by stray bullet that came from an unknown direction, at his residence in Brgy. 19-A, Victorias City, at past midnight of Dec. 31.
Munoz, Victorias police chief, said the slug of an unknown caliber of firearm was recovered by family members of the victim.
Military and police records, however, showed no indiscriminate firing among military and police personnel in Negros Occidental.
De la Paz and Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, yesterday led the unsealing of the muzzles of guns, at the BCPO and Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. headquarters, respectively, in Bacolod City.
The intensified campaign against violators of RA 7183, which regulates the use, manufacture, sale and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnics, also resulted in the confiscation of about P20,000 worth of banned firecrackers and pyrotechnics in the cities of Bacolod and La Carlota, Calatrava, Binalbagan, La Castellana, Negros Occidental that was jointly conducted by the police and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Guisihan lauded all NOPPO personnel for keeping the peace in the province during the holidays, with no major untoward incident recorded in the 12 cities and 19 municipalities.*GPB