Thursday, January 16, 2014

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PNP to enforce total gun ban for Dinagyang Festival 2014 from Jan. 20 to 27

From midnight of Jan. 20 to Jan. 27, police in Western Visayas will implement a total gun ban in Iloilo City for the Dinagyang Festival 2014.

A report on Iloilo-based The Daily Guardian on Thursday said Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima approved the gun ban.

“This (is) part of our security preparation to ensure that the celebration of the Dinagyang Festival will be free from firearm-related incidents and ensure safety of the populace and tourists,”
it quoted Western Visayas police head Chief Superintendent Josephus Angan as saying.

During the gun ban, Angan said gun owners' Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFORs) will be null, and only law enforcers on duty and in uniform can carry firearms during this time.

Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog requested the PNP to implement the gun ban, which had been implemented during the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City in the past three years.

While the gun ban is in effect, Iloilo City police will conduct checkpoints and chokepoints in major parts of the city.

The Dinagyang is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-Atihan festival, and features choreography and attires worn by participating tribes.

It is an Ilonggo term for revelry or merrymaking, and was coined in 1977 by Ilonggo writer/broadcaster Pacifico Sudario to describe the celebration.

Dinagyang traces its roots to 1967 when a replica of the image of the Santo NiƱo was first brought from Cebu by the San Jose Parish in Iloilo City.

"In 1969, the Ati-Atihan contest became a part of the cultural aspect of the celebration with only four tribes participating. Since then, the celebration has progressed into a more colorful and pompous affair that includes the participation of more tribes and groups," it said.

"From 1978 to the present, the Dinagyang Festival has evolved into a big religious and cultural activity supported by both the government and the private sectors. It now features cultural presentations, sports competitions and various side events," it added.

source: GMA News TV

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