By REYNALD MAGALLON
Everything is set for the 28th Defense and Sporting Arms Show to be held from July 14 to 18 at the Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
This was announced yesterday by the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers of the Philippines, Inc. (AFAD), now headed by Olympian Hagen Alexander Topacio.
Topacio did not attend the press conference held at a Makati restaurant after competing in the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, which saw him win a silver medal in the trap event.
In a press release, the London Games veteran said world-class, locally imported firearms, ammunition and accessories would be showcased at the event.
Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief and now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Senator-elect Robin Padilla and PNP Police Officer in Charge Lt. Gen. VicenteDanao Jr. were invited as special guests.
Activities during the five-day event include seminars and educational programs on self-defense, responsible gun ownership, safe gun handling, gun ownership regulation policy fireworks and other exciting activities.
“After almost three years of not adhering to health and safety protocol due to the pandemic, we are now back with better and much larger activities and programs involving our members and affiliated organizations,” said Topacio.
According to board member Edwin Ańo, the last time the event took place was three years ago under the watch of Topacio’s younger brother Alaric.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has really taken a toll on businesses, but unlike others, the firearms industry has not suffered a downward trend. But the resilience of the Philippines is remarkable. As we recover quickly and the economic situation is slowly getting back on its feet. On the sporting side, the activities are much better than the others since shooting is an outdoor event,” said Año, who was joined by Imelda Reyes and Duke De Leon at the press conference.
De Leon, for his part, reiterated that AFAD is working hard to put on an entertaining yet educational sporting gun show for the public and responsible gun owners.