Gun ban for May polls to begin Sunday-A A +A
Monday, January 7, 2013
Manila -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday reminded the public that the gun ban for the May 13 polls is set to begin Sunday.
According to Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez, the gun ban will begin as soon as the country enters the 120-day election period.
“Gun ban starts in seven days,” wrote Jimenez in his Twitter account (@jabjimenez).
Under the gun ban, everyone is disallowed to carry firearms except for institutions identified earlier by the poll body.
These individuals should be from the Internal Security of the Office 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.
Others in the list provided in Comelec Resolution 9561 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 (CAFGUs).
Also allowed 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.
To better implement the ban, the Comelec has also ordered the establishment of checkpoints in all of the cities and municipalities around the country.
“There shall be at least one Comelec checkpoint in each city/municipality,” said the Comelec.
Police and military authorities are also given the choice to establish additional check points “when circumstances warrant” but only upon giving notice to the concerned Election Officers (EOs).
The poll bodies also noted that the checkpoints should have signboards measuring three by four feet, bear the names and address of the EOs and commanding officers, and labeled on both sides in bold letters on a white background in order for the public to clearly identify it from a reasonable distance.
As for the military and police personnel manning the checkpoints, the Comelec said they must be in complete uniform and shall not be under the influence of liquor/drug.
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.
An election offense carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment as well as suffer disqualification to hold public office, and deprivation of the right to vote. (HDT/Sunnex)