By Jennifer P. Rendon
A 10-day gun ban will be enforced all over Iloilo City relative to the celebration of the Dinagyang Festival 2024.
The suspension of all permits to transport and carry firearms outside of residence (PTCFOR) in Iloilo City will run from 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 19 to 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2024.
Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, said the order is contained in a memorandum issued by PNP chief Benjamin Acorda, Jr. on Jan. 16, 2024.
“Only members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) performing official duties and in agency-prescribed uniforms are allowed to carry firearms,” the memorandum said.
Coronica said that carrying sharp objects, deadly weapons, and other contraband will also be prohibited.
“The gun ban will be strictly enforced across all festival venues, procession routes, and related events,” he said.
ICPO personnel will conduct thorough security checks to ensure compliance with the said directive.
Lest visitors and locals forget, anti-smoking and other city laws and ordinances will also be enforced.
Coronica has encouraged the cooperation and understanding of everyone, as the ban is essential for the collective safety of the community.
“We are ensuring a firearm-free Dinagyang Festival. Let’s celebrate together in harmony, respecting the safety measures for a secure and enjoyable time while we devote Senior Santo Niño,” Coronica said.
It was gathered that l Kalibo, Aklan has also enforced a gun ban from Jan. 15 to Jan. 21 for its celebration of the Ari-Atihan Festival.
But while the local government of Kallbo approved of the signal shutdown, Iloilo City has thumbed it down.