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Poe seeks review of laws on indiscriminate firing

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Grace Poe wants to review the laws on indiscriminate firing as well as the impact of the new stringent rules on gun registration, which caused much uproar among gun enthusiasts in the country.

Poe is determined to look into gun-related measures after several victims of stray bullets have been reported year after year.

An 11-year-old girl in Abra was killed by a stray bullet while several others were injured in cases involving indiscriminate firing.

“We will look into pending bills on increasing the penalty on indiscriminate firing, especially since violators are also men in uniform,” Poe said yesterday.

Interviewed over dzBB, Poe said the committee will also check on the implementation of stringent measures on the registration of firearms. 

“We want to find ways on how to ease the requirements to register and renew their firearms licenses so that gun owners will not grow weary of undergoing these tedious procedures,” she said.

Poe also vowed to look into the measures on regulating the use of fireworks and firecrackers that are pending before the Senate after the health department recorded 714 firecracker victims during the New Year celebration.

Poe said her committee will now act on three firecracker-related measures. 

“We need to weigh the options whether we can have a total ban (on firecracker use) and determine how it will affect the local industry,” she said.

She also wants to review how local government units have fared in the designation of firecracker zones.

“We need to conduct hearings first before we can determine our next course of action,” Poe said, adding that many sectors will be affected.

Tighter law on firecrackers

For her part, Sen. Nancy Binay seeks the immediate passage of a proposed law that makes it illegal to sell or even give any type of firework or firecrackers to children aged 15 years and below.

At least 23 types of firecrackers have been banned in the country, including piccolo, watusi, pla-pla, big bawang and five star.

A total of 593 cases of fireworks-related injuries have been reported by the health department as of Jan. 2, most of them in Metro Manila.

Paraffin test

In Abra, the father of stray bullet victim Jercy Decym Buenafe Tabaday, a grade four pupil of Bumagcat Elementary School, and four of his drinking buddies during the New Year revelry in Barangay Bumagcat in the town of Tayum have been subjected to a paraffin test to ease doubts on their possible involvement in the incident.

Tabaday was with her father Efren watching fireworks outside their house when she was hit by a .45 caliber bullet in the head. She died hours later at the Abra Provincial Hospital in Bangued.

Abra police director Senior Superintendent Albertlito Garcia told The STAR they are not considering the victim’s father as a suspect since a paraffin test is only a standard operating procedure in similar cases.

Malacañang, meanwhile, has asked the Philippine National Police to intensify its investigation on the mounting stray bullet cases nationwide, with the perpetrators still unknown. – With Raymund Catindig

 

ABRA ABRA PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL BARANGAY BUMAGCAT BUMAGCAT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GRACE POE IN ABRA JERCY DECYM BUENAFE TABADAY METRO MANILA NANCY BINAY NEW YEAR
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