Comelec releases gun ban exemption list

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Monday, November 26, 2012

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) named Monday the institutions that will be allowed to carry firearms despite the gun ban during the election period for the May 2013 polls.
Based on Comelec Resolution 9561, the ban, which will run from January 13, 2012 to June 12, 2013, will cover everyone except those that they have named identified.
Under the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), it is considered an election offense for any person to carry firearms outside his residence or place of business during the election period.
Exempted from the gun ban are members of the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines; National Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Jail Management and Penology; Intelligence, Investigation and Customs Police Divisions of the Bureau of Customs; Philippine Ports Authority; Philippine Economic Zone Authority police forces; Government Guard Forces; Investigation, and Intelligence Divisions of the Bureau of Immigration; Manila International Airport Authority Police Force; Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority Police Force; and Land Transportation Office Law Enforcement Service.
Also in the list are agents of the Philippine Coast Guard; Cebu Port Authority Police Force; Internal Security Operations Group of the Department of Justice Witness Protection Program; Optical Media Board; Security Investigation and Transport Department, and Cash Department of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Offices of the Sergeant-At-Arms of the Senate and House of Representatives; Inspection Service of the Philippine Postal Corporation; members of the Comelec; National Police Commission; Forest/Park Rangers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Office of the Secretary Department of Foreign Affairs; Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency; Philippine Center for Transnational Crime; National Intelligence Coordinating Agency; Presidential Security Group; and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units.
Allowed also to carry firearms are members of privately-owned security or protective agencies; justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeal, and judges of the regional trial courts, and municipal trial courts; and security personnel of accredited foreign diplomatic corps and establishments.
Aside from those, included for the 2013 polls are those from the Internal Security from the Offices of the Vice President; Secretary of Interior and Local Government; and National Defense; State, Regional, Provincial, and City Prosecutors of the Department of Justice; Internal Security Division of the Bureau of Treasury; and agents of the Bureau of Corrections.
In the same resolution promulgated November 23, those exempted from the ban on having security personnel or bodyguards are the President; Vice President; senators not running in the elections; justices, judges; Cabinet secretaries; Comelec officials; AFP commanders; and top PNP officials.
Under the Code, no candidate for public office, including incumbent public officials seeking election to any public office, shall employ services of security personnel and bodyguards.
However, the poll body said they can issue exemptions to national and local candidates as well as his/her immediate family within the second degree of consanguinity by allowing a maximum of two security personnel.
"This limit notwithstanding, the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) may increase the number of security details assigned to an applicant when the circumstances warrant," said the resolution.
The Comelec also stressed that all security personnel are required to be in their prescribed uniforms while in the performance of their duties. (HDT/Sunnex)

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