Central Visayas gun ban from January 5 to 20

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement a gun ban throughout Central Visayas from Jan. 5 to 20 to ensure security during the conduct of the 458th Fiesta Señor and the Sinulog.

Brig. Gen. Jerry Bearis, chief of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7), said PNP Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. has approved their request to suspend the Permit To Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR).

The gun ban started Thursday at 4 a.m., Jan. 5, during the Penitential Walk with Jesus from the Fuente Osmeña circle to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, the opening salvo of the 458th Fiesta Señor. It will end on Jan. 20 after the Hubo mass.

According to Bearis, the police will intensify the conduct of checkpoints in the four provinces in the region to prevent the entry of criminals who want to sow terror in Cebu.

“Even if you are a licensed firearm holder or holder of PTCFOR, definitely you are not allowed, but of course there is an exemption for that and it will be issued by the approving authority,” Bearis said.

Based on the data from the Regional Civil Security Unit 7, there are 11,046 licensed firearm holders in the region who will be affected by the suspension of the PTCFOR.

Regarding the shutdown of cellphone signals during major events such as the foot procession on Jan. 14 and the Sinulog Grand Parade on Jan. 15, Bearis said they are still waiting for permission from the National Telecommunications Commission.

The regional police chief revealed that there are suggestions not to implement signal jamming along the Sinulog grand parade and procession routes, but this still has to be discussed among the members of the Sinulog executive committee.

“It will be discussed. It’s either per activity or during only the grand parade,” Bearis said.

Bearis said this will help in providing security, especially if there is a serious threat to the Sinulog Grand Parade. (AYB, TPT)