PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar has ordered a week-long Metro Manila-wide gun ban as part of security measures for President Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
According to the top cop, he has ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) headed by Major Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. to strictly enforce the gun ban for seven days in the metropolis to better control the presence of guns in the streets during the President’s last address to the nation.
Thus, he said that all Permit-to-Carry-Firearms-Outside-of-Residence or PTCFORs issued in Metro Manila will be suspended from 8 a.m. of July 21 until 8 a.m. of July 28 to ensure that the SONA will be free from firearms-related incidents and better ensure the safety of the public.
The memorandum was issued last July 16.
“Only members of PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who are performing official duties and in agency-prescribed uniform will be allowed to carry firearms,” Eleazar announced on Friday.
The directive shall be implemented in consonance with the concept of Managing Police Operations in close coordination with the AFP, other law enforcement agencies and local government units.
“We are prepared for all scenarios. In keeping with the Intensified Cleanliness Policy, we will also conduct dialogues to establish coordination, cooperation, and understanding between the police, stakeholders, community leaders, and cause-oriented groups on self-policing, no-permit no-rally policy, traffic rerouting, and other public service so that we can attain our goal of a peaceful SONA,” Eleazar said.
The NCRPO and the PNP Civil Security Group were directed to fully disseminate the suspension of PTCFORs in their area of responsibilities through the mainstream and social media.
A total of 15,000 police personnel will be deployed to secure peace and order during the said SONA.
“I have directed all police district directors to strengthen anti-criminality measures and police visibility operations all over Metro Manila,” the PNP chief said.
“As usual, our police will exercise maximum tolerance but at the same time we are appealing to the militant groups to do their share and police their ranks to ensure a peaceful and orderly SONA. Of course, our police are always alert and would not hesitate to use legal force if the protesters become unruly,” Eleazar added.