One-year gun ban imposed in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – The city has imposed a yearlong gun ban, from January 1 to December 31 this year, after the Philippine National Police granted Mayor Sara Duterte’s request for the suspension of the permit to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) as part of measures to maintain tight security after the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.

In an interview, Duterte said the one-year suspension of the PTCFOR of private gun owners was raised when the security sector convened prior to the lifting of martial law to discuss measures that should remain even after the expiration of the thrice-extended declaration.

“Tanan na mga baril na isyuhan og permit to carry dili to sila pwede dad-on in public places (Those guns issued with permits to carry cannot be brought in public places). They can just leave it sa ilang balay (in their homes),” she said.

The Davao City Police Office received the memo on the suspension of the PTCFOR only on Wednesday but its application retroacted to January 1, according to Duterte.

A practical shooting enthusiast joins a competition in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur on Aug. 4, 2019. Private gun owners will no longer be allowed to carry firearms in Davao City until December 31, 2020. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

“Kining request nato for suspension of PTC output ni sya sa discussion unsa atong kinahanglan na ipadayon pag-end sa martial law (This request for the suspension of PTC was an output of our discussion on what should continue once martial law ends),” she said.

She clarified that military and police personnel are not covered by the gun ban.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, in response to the attack made by Islamic State-inspired militants in Marawi City.

Congress thrice approved the request of the President for the extension of martial law and suspension of the writ. The third extension expired on December 31, 2019.

Antonio S. Peralta, executive director of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao Business Council, believed the end of martial law would propel economic growth in Mindanao by attracting more foreign investors.

“I really am optimistic about this because, with the lifting of martial law, there is better movement of goods,” he added. “We should start feeling the impact of a lot of activities. While a lot of these are still infrastructure-driven, but I think once these infrastructures are completed, these will have a good impact on the way we do business here in Mindanao.”

He added a French company, which opened a processing facility for charcoal briquette and coconut coir in Digos, Davao del Sur, has seen a lot of potentials in Mindanao. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)