Wednesday, January 11, 2006

‘Airsofters’ (Airsoft Players) to tighten guidelines

War game players using airsoft guns have vowed to heed Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s warning to clear their activities with the police to avoid misencounters.
Larry Balayan of Rangers Elite (RE) Davao said he has met with city police director Senior Superintendent Catalino Cuy and promised to tighten the rules and procedures covering the war games.

Balayan said he has ordered his members to stick to the directives of RE regarding the wearing of proper uniform, keeping and handling the airsoft guns, and playing at the right game site.

He said he and his group have been following the rules and regulations of airsoft clubs. “Unlike other teams that wear Philippine Army uniforms, we use tri-colored ‘Desert Storm’ uniforms,” he said.

Balayan said RE is under the supervision of the Mindanao AirSoft Club Incorporated (MACI), the only registered airsoft organization that is recognized by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue. Balayan is the president of MACI.

He said RE’s legality was approved by Cuy, former regional police director Chief Superintendent Antonio Billiones, and Task Force Davao (TFD) commanding officer Colonel Eduardo del Rosario.

Balayan said he is planning to call a meeting with other airsoft players to discuss the rules and to let the people know they are responsible airsoft players.

Stanley Suarez of One Airsoft Davao, encouraged interested players to register with established teams in Davao City.

“Players who do not know the guidelines and conduct are those people who give a bad image to airsoft players. That’s why as much as possible, register with an established team so that you will know the rules and proper conduct,” Suarez said.

Duterte had earlier warned airsofters to coordinate with the authorities after receiving reports that men in full-battle gear were doing military exercises in a neighborhood. The “military men” turned out to be airsoft players.

Cuy advised airsoft players to coordinate with the police and provide the authorities the location of their game site. He also advised them to bring their airsoft identification cards and the names of their members to avoid misinterpretations from civilians.

Captain Louie Villanueva of Task Force Davao also directed the players to come up with bylaws for the members to follow to strengthen the groups’ legitimacy.

Meanwhile, air soft war games have been prohibited for the duration of the Asean Tourism Forum from this week until January 22. Night games are also permanently prohibited. Wargames must be held in secluded and isolated areas and not in commercial and residential areas.

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