CEBU CITY—The Philippine National Police will impose a gun ban in the entire city and province of Cebu starting Monday until Jan. 18 as part of the security measures for the Fiesta Señor celebration, the Sinulog festival, and the Miss Universe pageant’s swimwear competition.
In his order, PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa prohibited gun owners from carrying firearms outside their homes in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
Dela Rosa’s order was posted by Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, deputy mayor on police matters, on his Facebook account past 9 p.m. on Saturday.
“Only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other Law Enforcement Agencies, who are performing official duties and in agency-prescribed uniforms will be allowed to carry firearms,” Tumulak’s post said.
Individuals, including civilians, off-duty cops, military personnel, and security, who will be found carrying guns outside their houses will be arrested for illegal possession of firearms.
Chief Superintendent Noli Talino, Police Regional Office 7 director, earlier requested Dela Rosa to allow a special gun ban during the Fiesta Señor celebration that lasts until Jan. 15, the feast of the Sto. Niño de Cebu and the date of the Sinulog grand parade.
The gun ban period was extended after the Miss Universe swimwear competition in Lapu-Lapu City on Jan. 17.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City Council on Friday passed a resolution to implement a “No Parking Zone” within the perimeter of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño to ensure the safety of devotees.
Councilor Tumulak, who chairs the council’s committee on public order and safety, said the area 10 meters away from the perimeter fence of the Basilica was declared a no parking zone starting Friday until Jan. 15.
Earlier, city officials said they want to ban drones along the parade route and at the Cebu City Sports Center, where some 10,000 people in the grandstand will watch the different contingents in their final performance in front of judges.
Some 8,000 security personnel will be deployed in the city during the Sinulog Festival. They include police and military personnel and “force multipliers” such as reservists and military cadets in training.