The 23-day temporary gun ban for the 33rd MassKara Festival in Bacolod City ended at 12 a.m. yesterday with a policeman, a security guard and three civilians arrested and charged, City Police Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz said.
On October 2, Noel Cabrera, 30, of Galo Street, Brgy. 20, Bacolod, was shot and apprehended by Police Officers 1 Shaun Nelmida and Joemel Mialen of the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office after he threatened his father-in-law Eduardo Rodero, 58, with his .38 caliber revolver.
The following day, Christopher Parreño, 31, of Purok Kingfisher, Brgy. 16, Bacolod, who was arrested for stealing money from a store at Amelia Street, was found to have a pin gun in his possession, while Salmino Grijaldo, 30, of Purok Pag-isa in Brgy. Bata was nabbed with a homemade firearm, or sulpak.
Police Officer 1 Roldan Villa, of Brgy. 16, Bacolod and assigned at the Community Police Precinct at the City Government Center and is now in the custody of Police Station 1, was also arrested at the Bacolod Public Plaza in possession of a .45 caliber pistol on October 13.
The last gun violator was Jey Rondain, 40, of Brgy. Central Tabao, Valladolid, Negros Occidental, and employed by the Cabal Security Agency, who was apprehended for carrying a .38 caliber revolver in a bar in Brgy. Bata on October 14.
De la Paz said the implementation of the gun ban helped in minimizing firearm-related incidents at the festival sites at the Public Plaza and at Lacson Tourism strip and he hopes it will be done yearly.
Philippine National Police chief, Director General Nicanor Bartolome had ordered that all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) to be temporarily suspended effective October 1 to ensure that the celebration of the MassKara Festival 2012 will be free from firearm-related incidents and safe for residents and tourists.
De la Paz said the celebration of the MassKara celebration this year was generally peaceful despite some shooting and stabbing incidents in Bacolod, that he said were not festival related.
He said only minor incidents were recorded at the Festival sites, like alarm and scandal, thefts, robbery and bringing of deadly weapons. *APN