According to Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Engelbert Soriano, the ban already started taking effect on Wednesday and will run until January 20. It covers the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue.
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Gun ban up in 3 cities until end of Sinulog
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - January 10, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A gun ban is now in effect in three major cities of Metro Cebu as part of the security measures for the Sinulog festivities this year.

According to Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Engelbert Soriano, the ban already started taking effect on Wednesday and will run until January 20. It covers the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue.

Because permits to carry firearms are suspended, Soriano warned gun owners against bringing their firearms when they go out of their homes or else they will face arrest.

“Ibig sabihin, kahit sino ka pa (whoever you are), unless naka-uniform kang police or law enforcer, you are not authorized to carry your firearms,” he said, adding that Camp Crame gave the green light to the ban last week.

Soriano said they have to implement the ban considering that Sinulog is a big celebration as it is branded as the biggest and grandest festival in the country.

The ban, he added, will also help avoid possible gun-related violence which may spark during the fiesta activities.

‘SIGNAL SHUTDOWN POSSIBLE’

In a related development, Soriano maintained that the police may order a signal shutdown if only to shore up security for Sinulog, saying they have been authorized to do so.

“But if there’s no need for a shutdown, there won’t be a shutdown,” he said.

Soriano said that the police are one with the clergy in making sure that the solemnity of the religious activities such as the foot procession on January 18 will be maintained.

Thus, he is discouraging people from participating in the only for the purpose of snapping photos for social media and using their phones.

Soriano said that should signals be blocked, police will not announce the specific times of the day that it will be enforced. Otherwise, he said the purpose of the signal block will be defeated.

“We are ready to do it anytime the situation calls for it,” he said. JMD (FREEMAN)

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