New CCPO OIC tasked to crack down on illegal fireworks

COL. Engelbert Soriano faces a tall order after his appointment as officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) by Police Regional Office Central Visayas Director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon.

Mayor Edgardo Labella wants “zero injuries or casualties” during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

On Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, the police official, accompanied by Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement team head Raquel Arce, City Councilor Phillip Zafra, City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., City Attorney Rey Gealon and Market Administrator Jonil Matuguina, made the rounds of the Carbon Public Market where fireworks and pyrotechnic devices used to be sold.

They didn’t find any, but Soriano said he already activated intelligence personnel to monitor the illegal selling of fireworks.

Violators who are caught will be jailed, he said.

Soriano will deploy police personnel around the city, especially in areas near malls, on Dec. 31.

“We will confiscate all firecrackers from traders outside designated selling areas, including malls,” he said.

The City Government has set aside an area at the South Road Properties near F. Vestil St. where vendors can sell firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

To prevent injuries or fatalities from stray bullets, Labella also ordered Soriano to make sure that the close to 1,000 members of the CCPO do not fire their firearms indiscriminately on New Year’s Eve.

The mayor wants those who get caught doing so to be removed from their post immediately.

“There will be no happy ending for personnel who get involved in indiscriminate firing,” Soriano said in Tagalog.

The mayor also wants Soriano to put a stop to corruption in the force by conducting internal cleansing.

He also wants the latter to continue what former CCPO director and now Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Royina Garma started in the campaign against illegal drugs by going after drug lords and drug pushers.

Lastly, Labella wants more police personnel to patrol the streets to deter crime. (PAC, PJB)

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