Gun ban in Metro, 3 other areas hosting SEAG events

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    THE PNP will enforce starting today a gun ban in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and in La Union in connection with the 30th Southeast Asian Games set Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

    PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the gun ban or suspension of all permits to carry firearms outside residences in these areas will be implemented until Dec. 14, three days after the conclusion of the biennial games.

    The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, meanwhile, issued a no-fly zone in the surrounding areas of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Nov. 30 and at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac on Dec. 11 for the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively.

    The restriction for both dates is from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Banac said the gun ban was ordered by PNP officer in charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa to prevent any firearm-related incidents in areas where SEA Games events are scheduled.

    Members of the PNP, Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies tasked to help secure the SEA Games are exempted from the gun ban.

    “This is part of our security preparations for the upcoming SEA Games to be held here in the country and we would like to ensure activities to be free from firearms-related incidents and to assure the safety of all local and foreign delegates,” said Gamboa.

    Banac said personalities who are in “agency-prescribed uniforms” and participants of the SEA Games shooting competitions are also exempted from the gun ban.

    “We will closely coordinate with the AFP, local government units, and other law enforcement agencies to fully implement this suspension,” Gamboa said.

    Nearly 10,000 athletes and officials from Southeast Asia are set to compete in the SEA Games being held for the country for the fourth time. Around 20,000 police and other security personnel are tasked to secure the games.

    Gamboa earlier said the PNP is putting its “best foot forward” for the regional sporting event, adding they are prepared to “address any unforeseen situation that may arise.” – With Rod Lagusad