Official violator

Village councilor nabbed for lighting pyrotechnics on New Year’s Eve
Incumbent Mintal barangay kagawad Eduardo Santander claimed that he forgot that pyrotechnics were included in the firecracker ordinance when he lit up the fireworks on New Year’s Eve, causing his arrest.
In an interview aired on Super Radyo Saturday, Santander apologized to his constituents and said he was ready to face the charge against him. The official was interviewed prior to his inquest proceedings.

The barangay official even found it ironic that he was booked in the Mintal Police Precinct, the very same infrastructure that he proposed to be built during his early terms as a barangay councilor. Santander is on his fifth term.

Asked why he lit up the fireworks, Santander said he became envious of the fireworks celebrations of other LGUs he visited and did not know that these were included in the ban.

He said he has not yet spoken with Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte about the incident.

The use, manufacture, possession and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnics is prohibited in the city and is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of P5,000 through an ordinance passed in 2002.

The ordinance also punishes suspected violators with jail time of around 20 days or a fine of a minimum of P1,000.

Earlier, barangay chief Ramon Bargamento told the TIMES they are still seeking advice from the Department of Interior and Local government whether there would be sanctions against the official.

“It’s very easy to spot violators of the ban,” Bargamento said. “It’s very quiet in the barangay.”

The barangay chief added he was confused as to why the barangay official would break the ordinance.

“His children even stopped him, but he did not listen,” Bargamento added.

But Santander insisted he was not drunk during the incident.

“I dont drink,” he said. “I was just entertained by the fireworks and wanted to share it with my community.”