Manila — Policemen who would fire their service firearms and use illegal firecrackers in welcoming the New Year may find themselves jobless in 2013, the Philippine National Police (PNP) warned on Saturday.
For the nth time, PNP Director General Alan Purisima reminded his men that they would face criminal and administrative charges if they are found guilty of illegally discharging their guns and using banned firecrackers.
“There are safer means to greet the New Year and our policemen should be the role model in the government’s efforts against the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials,” Purisima said in a statement.
“I warn all our personnel to refrain from using their firearms during the New Year celebration. Otherwise, you will certainly end up regretting for your entire life why you (defied) my order,” he said.
Although policemen caught illegally firing their issued guns would be given due process, “I assure them that they will not only be dismissed from the service, they will also be charged criminally,” Purisima said.
“And we will make sure that they cannot go back to the (police) service,” said Purisima.
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesperson, noted that indiscriminate firing had led to the deaths of bystanders in the past.
“Because of its downward trajectory, bullets from guns fired in the air will be very fatal,” Cerbo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“In fact, the police had been handling incidents of indiscriminate firing that led to the deaths of several persons,” he added.
According to Purisima, different police units throughout the country have started taping the barrels of their personnel’s issued firearms to prevent them from illegally discharging them on New Year’s eve.
Police records showed that 59 persons were hit by stray bullets during and after the holiday season last year. One of the victims died. /INQUIRER