MANILA — To ensure the safety of Pope Francis during his visit to the country this coming Jan. 15 to 19, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced that it will strictly enforce a prohibition on the carrying of firearms in all areas of activity during the Pontiff’s five day visit.
The following areas are declared “firearms free zones” including routes to and from these areas of engagement that will be used by the official entourage of Pope Francis:
a) Nunciature Area, Taft Avenue, Manila
b) Malacañang Palace
c) Manila Cathedral
d) SM Arena, Mall of Asia
e) Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
f) University of Santo Tomas
g) Quirino Grandstand
h) Tacloban City
i) Palo, Leyte
PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director Gen. Leonardo A. Espina issued the memorandum on Thursday, directing the Police Regional Directors in Metro Manila and Eastern Visayas to “strictly observe and implement certain provisions of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
Citing provisions of Section 7.12 of the IRR, Espina said “firearms shall not be brought inside places of worship, public drinking and amusement places and all other commercial or public establishments.
Likewise, Espina cited Section 7.11.2 Rule II of the IRR which specifically provides that a) Display of firearms is prohibited. The firearms must always be concealed; b) The firearm must be secured inside a vehicle or a motorcycle compartment.
This provision applies to all gunholders including members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other Law Enforcement Agencies in civilian attire, as well as gunholders with Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence