Issue of February 11, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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PNP orders gun ban in Abra until March
by Harley F. Palangchao

BANGUED, Abra – No untoward incident disrupted the regional sports meet in the province but the Philippine National Police has ordered the suspension of all permits to carry firearms until next month except for law enforcers and military officers on duty.

Athletes, coaching staff, and parents were relieved that the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association 2018 Meet was held peacefully from Feb. 4 to 9 amid tight police and military security in all playing and billeting venues.

PNP Director Ronald dela Rosa, who graced the Caraa opening on Feb. 4, announced the suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) and Permits to Transport and Purchase of Explosives/Explosive Ingredients (PTTPEEI) in Abra to avoid possible gun and explosive-related violence during series of events and celebrations until next month.

The gun and explosive ban will cover the Bangued town fiesta from Feb. 23 to 26 and the province’s Kawayan Festival from March 1 to 9.

Dela Rosa has directed the Cordillera police command to exert more efforts to arrest the suspects and the brains behind the Jan. 25 grenade blast in La Paz town the killed two police officers and wounded 13 others, including Abra Rep. JB Bernos and wife Mechie, the mayor of La Paz.

The police task force formed to conduct a follow-up investigation has narrowed down the suspects to three but authorities, including dela Rosa, have not given details in order not to compromise police investigation.

The implementation of security similar to what was observed during the Association of Southeast Asian Summit by the Abra Police Provincial Office under S/Supt. Wilson Soliba greatly helped in ensuring the continued safety and protection of Caraa participants and the public.

Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos, meanwhile, vowed that they will not allow fear and terror to reign in the province, saying that those behind the grenade blast wanted to ruin efforts to bring peace and development in the province.

The governor is the sister-in-law of the wounded congressman. Assassins killed the governor’s husband, former La Paz mayor Marc Ysrael Bernos, during the town’s fiesta in January 2006.

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