PNP okays gun ban for MassKara Festival until October 20

BACOLOD CITY, Oct. 12 (PNA) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has approved the enforcement of the gun ban for the ongoing MassKara Festival until October 20.

The festivities started Oct. 1 and will end on Oct. 19, the celebration of Bacolod’s Charter Day.

Chief Inspector Dianne Catedral, public information officer of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), confirmed the approval of the gun ban Monday, saying they received the order October 10.

The PNP set the citywide gun ban from October 9 to 20.

Catedral said only authorities who are performing duties and in agency-prescribed uniforms will be allowed to carry firearms during the said dates.

This is to ensure that the festival will be free from firearm-related incidents and to ensure the safety of the revelers, she added.

The BCPO is implementing the Oplan MassKara 2015 from Sept. 15 to Oct. 19 which includes, among others, the provision of overt and covert security, deployment of special weapons and tactics (Swat) and K9 teams, and traffic management and enforcement.

“Our mission is to provide maximum security coverage to all government officials, VIPs, guests, media practitioners and spectators during their stay in Bacolod,” said Senior Superintendent Armando Tubongbanua, deputy city police director.

As part of their City Joint Operation, 75 officers will be deployed along San Juan and Araneta Streets alongside four police booths while 61 personnel will man the two police booths at the Bacolod People’s House.

The Lacson Tourism Strip will have 130 policemen and 5 police booths.

A total of 38 route security personnel and 100 force multipliers will secure spectators and participants during the dance parade while fixed checkpoints will be activated on all entries of the city starting October 15.

Catedral said about 1,000 policemen will be deployed to different areas of Bacolod during the festival.

BCPO’s 140 personnel who augmented the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Iloilo City already returned to Bacolod last week.

About 200 policemen from the Police Regional Office-6 will also arrive on October 14. (PNA)