PNP exec: Suspend all permits to carry firearms in view of new admin’s inaugurations
MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine National Police (PNP) official has requested for the suspension of all permits to carry firearms in preparation for the inaugurations of President-elect Bongbong Marcos and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio, to ensure security of their respective programs.
PNP director for operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said on Tuesday that he has already asked acting police chief Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. to implement such a measure, as security is being heightened in time for the inauguration of the two leaders.
“Ngayon pa lang aking ipapaalam na sa publiko na nag-request na po kay ating Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, ang officer-in-charge, to suspend ‘yong ating permit to carry firearms outside of residence in the inclusive period [I want the public to know that we have requested Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao to (temporarily) suspend the permit to carry firearms outside of residence (PTCFOR) in the inclusive period],” de Leon said in an interview with ABS-CBN Telradyo’s On the Spot.
“And we will keep you posted on that, so that everybody in the public community ay hindi po sila magdala ng kanilang baril. Gano’n din sa paghahanda natin dito kay President-elect Bongbong Marcos dito sa National Museum, I myself conducted the inspection in the area, nagkaroon na rin kami ng panayam doon sa operations group ni President-elect Marcos [so that the public may know that they are not allowed to carry a gun. This is also in preparation for (the inauguration) of President-elect Bongbong Marcos in the National Museum. I myself will conduct an inspection in the area, we already had a dialogue with the operations group of the President-elect],” he added.
The number of police officers deployed to the inauguration has also been increased, from initial figures of 2,000 PNP personnel to over 3,700 for Duterte-Carpio’s inauguration in Davao City on June 19, and over 6,200 for Marcos’ inauguration in Manila on June 30.
De Leon said this does not include personnel from other uniformed services like the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard.
Also, De Leon remained firm that rallies would only be allowed in freedom parks and areas authorized by the local government. As of now, the PNP official said local government units concerned have not yet given permits for protest groups.
“Remember that the world is watching us, and we do not allow unruly and unauthorized rally, meron tayong tinatawag na freedom parks dito, meron tayong Liwasang Bonifacio and all the rest where they could air their grievances and issues, not in areas where it is not authorized especially by local government,” de Leon explained.
“Sa aming pakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga local government units na involved […] ay wala pa po silang na-issue na permit to conduct rally po. So sa ngayon, if ever we have noticed some illegal assembly ay ating ‘wag papayagan lalo na makalapit do’n sa ating paggaganapan,” he added.
(In our dialogue with the local government, it has not issued any permit for the holding of any rally.)
The issue of whether the government should allow rallies has been the subject of arguments between the police force and activist groups, as the latter insist that Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 allows for peaceful protests.
PNP however stressed that protests are only allowed in public spaces, apart from freedom parks, if the local government unit in the respective area issues a permit.
On Monday, when Danao was queried about PNP’s preparations, he said that he would even bring rally attendees near the inauguration site if they will be shouting “Mabuhay”.
READ: Will PNP allow rallyists near Marcos inauguration? Danao says only if they’re shouting ‘mabuhay’
Activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) meanwhile criticized Danao’s statements, asking if they intend to control the content of rallies too.
READ: Activists fire back at PNP: Right to peaceably assemble doesn’t discriminate
This is not the first time police and activists’ beliefs clashed: during Congress’ proclamation of winners in the 2022 presidential race, Bayan and other progressive movements condemned the alleged violent dispersal of protesters at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) grounds.
READ: Anti-Marcos rally inside CHR compound turns violent amid dispersal by police
Danao however explained that the protesters were only doused with water and were prevented from moving into the Commonwealth Avenue after they stomped on the riot shields of the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) personnel in the area.
READ: Danao: PNP’s actions at proclamation day protests ‘professionalism at its best’
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.