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2019 Christmas season safest in years — police

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POLICE on Wednesday reported more than 300 holiday-related incidents at the year-end, 59% lower than a year earlier.

The 327 incidents from Dec. 16 through the New Year involved firecrackers, stray bullets and illegal gun firing, police spokesman Brigadier General Bernard Banac said on Wednesday.

Police said 21 people got arrested for indiscriminate gunfire. At least three cases involved stray bullets and the rest were firecracker-related.

Last year’s Christmas season was the safest in recent years, he added, noting that nobody died.

“Based on Philippine National Police records, 2019 probably goes down in history as the safest and most uneventful observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays that posted zero death,” he said in a statement.

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Mr. Banac said 81 firecracker-related injuries were reported in connection with the New Year celebration.

“We are grateful that the people heeded our call to shun the age-old tradition of welcoming the new year with dangerous firecrackers and gunfire that has resulted in death and injuries in previous years,” he said.

Fourteen of the 21 people arrested for illegal gunfire were civilians. Among them was a Chinese national who fired his gun in front of a music bar in Pasay City on Dec. 25.

The rest were security men — two soldiers, one militiaman, three security guards and a policeman. — Emmanuel Tupas, Philippine Star

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