THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has approved the implementation of the gun ban for the ongoing MassKara Festival in Bacolod City.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesperson of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said Wednesday, October 9, they received the order on Tuesday and this is a citywide gun ban from October 8 to 27.

He said only the members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies in agency-prescribed uniforms who are performing official duties will be allowed to carry firearms.

“We want to ensure that the festival will be free from firearm-related incidents and to ensure the safety of everybody during the festival especially in the festival sites at the Bacolod Government Center, public plaza, Lacson Street and the area of Manokan Country,” he added.

Pico noted that the law enforcers in civilian attire who will be caught carrying firearms will be arrested and charged for illegal possession of firearms.

This year’s Ruby MassKara Festival will be celebrated from October 7 to 27.

Pico said a total of 600 policemen from the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas already arrived in Bacolod on Saturday to beef up the existing city police force for the festival.

He said the 600 policemen were already deployed in various areas to maintain peace and order.

BCPO earlier requested 1,600 policemen from PRO-Western Visayas to augment its existing personnel.

“We expect that by next week, additional policemen will be deployed here for the MassKara Festival. We want to ensure not only the peace and order, but also the safety of everybody during the festival especially in the festival sites,” Pico said.

He said backpacks, ball caps, bladed weapons, and pointed sticks are prohibited at the festival sites as well as those who are wearing more than two T-shirts to avoid untoward incidents during the festival.

He added that from October 7, there were no reported untoward incidents in the city’s festival sites at the Bacolod Government Center, public plaza, and Lacson Street. (MAP)