PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. has ordered an intensified operation against “unscrupulous” individuals involved in the online sale of illegal firecrackers or “paputok” in the country.
The top cop asked the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), headed by Brigadier Gen. Joel B. Doria, to step-up their conduct of cyber-patrols to monitor persons offering to sell banned firecrackers and other pyrotechnics ahead of the New Year’s eve revelries.
Last week, at least 11 persons were hauled to jail by the PNP-ACG amid the PNP chief’s directive.
Three of them were arrested in operation conducted by the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit (RACU) 3 at the parking lot of a shopping mall in Mexico, Pampanga.
Recovered during the sting were rolls of 5,000-round “Sawa”; three rolls of 2,000-round Sawa; five pieces of “Judas Belt”; and 20 packs of “Five Star.”
Two others were arrested in an entrapment operation in front of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Tutuban Compound in Manila.
Confiscated from the suspects were one “Ghp Triangle” worth P450; an “Atomic DK” worth P250; eight pieces of “Kabase” worth P560, one ream of “Pla-Pla” worth P550; four “Sparkling Angels” worth P1,000; 50 pieces of “Bawang” worth P600; one “Kome Pasadya” worth P250; and five plastic “Luces” worth P150.
Another operation in Barangay San Roque in Navotas City last Thursday led to the arrest of two male suspects.
On the same day, two others were arrested in a sting at the parking lot of a mall in Marikina City.
Recovered from the duo were nine reams of “Pla-Pla Special”; 10 reams of “Super Lola”; four reams of “oversized Tilapia”; and 200 pieces of “Kwitis.”
Another operation in Pitong Gatang Street in Bgy. 56, Tondo, Manila led in the arrest of one suspect who yielded five pieces of “Atomic Bomb”; two pieces of “Kingkong Arko”; which is another “Pla-pla” variation; two pieces of “Crying Cow”; and two pieces of “Atomic Crying Cow.”
Another suspect was arrested in an entrapment operation in front of a supermarket in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The suspect yielded P4,000 worth of oversized “5-Star King Kong” firecrackers.
All suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 7183 or “An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution, and Use of Firecrackers and Pyrotechnic Devices” in relation to Section 6 of RA 10175, otherwise known as “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.”
Violators of the law face a fine of P20,000 to as much as P30,000 and imprisonment of six months to one year as well as cancellation of license and business permit and confiscation of their inventory stock.
“In coordination with other law enforcement agencies and local government units, the PNP will continue to conduct cyber patrolling, inspection, confiscation and destruction of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices without let up following the guidelines on the regulation to ensure [the] safety of the public,” Azurin said.