No firearms allowed where Pope Francis will visit

Bea Cupin
No firearms allowed where Pope Francis will visit
If for some reason you’re thinking about bringing a firearm to any of the areas Pope Francis will visit, think again

MANILA, Philippines – Taking part in one of the activities during Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines next week? Add firearms to the list of things you are not allowed to bring.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday, January 9, said firearms will be banned in the 9 areas the Pope will visit during his 5-day stay in the country.

The order was made by PNP Office-in-Charge Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina through a memorandum issued to the National Capital Region and Eastern Visayas police chiefs.

The following areas will be declared “Firearms Free Zones,” by the PNP:

  1. Nunciature Area, Taft Avenue, Manila
  2. Malacañang Palace
  3. Manila Cathedral
  4. SM Arena, Mall of Asia
  5. Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
  6. University of Santo Tomas
  7. Quirino Grandstand
  8. Tacloban City
  9. Palo, Leyte

The ban applies to all civilians with gun licenses, as well as uniformed personnel (such as the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines) who are in civilian attire, the PNP said.

It also applies to those with permits to carry firearms outside their residence.

According to Espina, the order is based on RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, which states “firearms shall not be brought inside places of worship, public drinking and amusement places and all other commercial or public establishments.”

Citing another provision of the law, Espina emphasized firearms should not be displayed and should “be secured inside a vehicle or a motorcycle compartment.”

Those caught bringing firearms to the mentioned locations will be charged for violating RA 10591, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Wiben Mayor said. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.