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MANILA, Philippines – Only police and military personnel in uniform will be allowed to carry firearms in the city of Manila before, during, and after the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Thursday, January 5.
During a press conference at Camp Crame, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa announced the 48-hour suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence in the city of Manila from 8 am on Sunday, January 8 to 8 am on Tuesday, January 10.
“This suspension will have the effect similar to a gun ban imposed during elections and special events wherein only members of the military, police, and law enforcement agencies while on duty and in uniform are authorized to bear firearms,” said Dela Rosa.
Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde had earlier said they wanted to impose a gun ban, pending Dela Rosa’s approval.
The Black Nazarene procession is a yearly event that attracts millions of devotees from all around the country. It is expected to draw up to 8 million devotees raring to touch or see a 17th-century mulatto image of Jesus Christ, in a procession called the Traslacion.
Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, in a separate news briefing, said law enforcement personnel would be placed on “full alert” following intelligence reports that terror groups may launch an attack during the Traslacion.
More than 5,700 law enforcers will be deployed for the event.
Earlier on Thursday, Philippine military and police killed Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, leader of the pro-ISIS Ansar Khalifa Philippines, during an operation.
Dela Rosa said the PNP is preparing for possible retaliatory attacks from the terror group. – Rappler.com