Comelec approves over 200 gun ban exemptions-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has so far approved over 200 applications for gun ban exemption in connection with the Barangay polls on October 28.
Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca said, out of the 348 new applications and renewal they received as of October 1, a total of 211 have been given exemptions.
She noted that they are still evaluating the 133 while four applications have been deferred.
The poll body earlier said that most of those applying for renewal are security agencies. They also received applications from law enforcement agencies and security details.
The ban on carrying firearms and employing security personnel started last September 28, the beginning of the election period for the village polls, until November 12.
Violators shall be punished with imprisonment one to six years, permanent disqualification to hold public office, and deprivation of the right to vote.
The Comelec issued Resolution 9735, which states that "Gun ban exemptions issued in connection with the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections shall be recognized as valid for purposes of the October 28, 2013 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections."
The same resolution also states that approved applications for employment/availment/engagement of security personnel/agencies during the midterm polls shall be subject to renewal for purposes of the October 28 polls.
During the May 13 midterm elections, those allowed to employ security personnel or bodyguards are the President, Vice President, senators who are not running for re-election, Justices, Judges, Cabinet Secretaries, Chairman and Commissioners of the poll body, Chief of Staff of the AFP and AFP Major Service Commanders, and Director Generals and Senior Officers of the PNP.
Those exempted from the gun ban were 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; agents of the Bureau of Corrections; 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 among others.
This was based on the Comelec's original gun ban Resolution 9561-A issued for the May 13 polls. (FP/Sunnex)