efe-epaManila

The Philippines' Police Director General praised the 26th AFAD Defense & Sporting Arms Show in Mandaluyong City on Thursday for making strides in promoting gun ownership in the country, which has recently seen attacks on prominent community members.

Oscar Albayalde was speaking as guest of honor at the opening ceremony of the event organized by the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers of the Philippines (AFAD).

"I'm happy to note that (...) hosting these events and sporting arms show we make great strides in promoting gun ownership among the growing sector of licensed gun holders in the country," he said, as seen in a live Facebook post.

Under the event slogan "Strengthening security for a safer society," exhibitors displayed arrays of firearms, ammunition and shooting paraphernalia including bullets, bulletproof vests, bags, holsters and gun accessories to more than 2,000 people on the opening day, an epa-efe reporter said.

The show, which runs until Jul. 16, also has a police booth where visitors can apply for quick processing of gun permits, the reporter said.

"Only recently we have seen isolated incidents of separate attacks on elected government officials and other prominent personalities. Situations like this are our urgent concerns that prompt us to seek public support for effective gun control," Albayalde said.

On Thursday, police were investigating the death of the sixth mayor to have been killed in the past 10 days. Vice-mayor of Sapa Sapa town in Zamboanga, Al-Rasid Mohammad Alih, died after he was shot in the chest as he was driving with his family.

According to Albayade speaking on Jun. 20, 246 Catholic priests and religious leaders had applied for firearms licenses, reported state news agency PNA. This comes amid recent attacks on priests and religious figures in the country.

The event is held annually in Manila and has more recently moved into big cities in the provinces, according to the reporter.