CABANATUAN CITY – Vintage bombs were found during a random search in junk shops by the Nueva Ecija police in the aftermath of an accidental blast that killed a junkshop helper and hurt his co-worker in Zaragosa last Oct. 26.
Provincial police director Col. Marvin Joe C. Saro said the surprise inspection led to the recovery of several assorted unexploded ordnance mostly in junkshops located in this city, and in the towns of Sta. Rosa and San Antonio.
Recovered were two projectiles of 76mm high-explosive round without fuse, two cartridges of 81-mm mortar, one high explosives without fuse, with another piece corroded, and two rifle grenade high explosives.
Saro said he ordered the immediate inspection of the junk shops to raise public awareness on the dangers of storing or mishandling these types of vintage bombs and also to avoid a repeat of the accidental explosion in Bgy. San Isidro, Zaragosa where one died and another was injured.
“Huwag ito hawakan, huwag pukpukin, o huwag ilagay sa mainit o sunugin at tumawag agad sa otoridad o EOD expert para kumuha nito at mag-dispose,” said Saro, in telling junkshop owners and their wards to always observe safety protocols in the handling of these kinds of explosives.
He said the police composite inspection team that made the rounds of junk shops in the said areas was led by the Provincial Explosives and Canine Unit.
Saro also warned that selling or buying these vintage explosives is strictly prohibited and those who will buy or sell it could be held liable and face prosecution.
The provincial police officer-in-charge also said they have been conducting information dissemination through social media and by flyers-distribution in the barangays about its hazards to prevent possible loss of lives or limbs due to ignorance or recklessness.
“I appeal to the public to be responsible in handling these explosive remnants of war (ERW), since UXO (unexploded ordnance) is more dangerous or deadly because of its unknown condition and sensitivity,” said Saro.