Under a new leadership, but with the same vision and mission as its predecessor, the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers of the Philippines, Inc. picks up from where it left off with the holding of the 28th Defense and Sporting Arms Show on July 14 to 18 at the Megatrade Hall of the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
Newly elected AFAD officers, led by its president Hagen Alexander Topacio, announced the return of the country’s most anticipated and biggest showcase of world-class, locally-made and imported firearms, ammunitions, and paraphernalia during a media conference on Tuesday at the MilkyWay Restaurant in Makati City.
“After almost three years of absence in the observance of health and safety protocol due to the pandemic, we’re now back with better and much bigger activities and programs involving our members and affiliated organizations,” said Topacio in a press statement read by Board member Edwin Ańo.
The many-time member of the Philippine Trap Shooting Team missed the media conference as he just arrived from a successful silver-medal finish in the just concluded 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The University of the Philippines graduate in Public Administration was elected as the new president of AFAD, replacing his younger brother Alaric, who successfully organized the last two legs of the Arm Show in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and the rest of the world.
“The COVID-19 pandemic really shot down businesses, but unlike others, the firearms industry did not suffer a downtrend. But the Filipino resiliency is remarkable as we recovered fast and the economic situation is slowly getting back on its feet. On the sporting side, the activities are far better than the others since shooting is an outdoor event,” said Ańo, who was joined by fellow newly elected officers Imelda Reyes and Duke De Leon.
Ańo revealed that AFAD extends invitations to Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, newly elected Senator Robin Padilla, a known gun enthusiast, and Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Police Lieutenant General Vicente D Danao Jr., as special guests in the opening program set at 10 a.m.
He added that enthusiasts could also learn during the five-day show as they have lined up seminars and educational programs on self-defense, responsible gun ownership, firearms safety handling, regulation policy on gun ownership and other exciting activities.
De Leon, for his part, reiterated that AFAD is working hard to put up an entertaining yet educational sporting arms show for the public and responsible gun owners.
“Through the years, AFAD is a partner of the government in abating the proliferation of ‘loose firearms’. We can educate the public in the process to be responsible gun owners,” said Topacio.