Comelec thumbs down gun ban exemption in Zamboanga-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday thumbed down the request of Zamboanga City to have their barangay officials and tanods exempted from the election gun ban currently being implemented nationwide.
In a press briefing, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said it is unlikely that the poll body will grant the request since doing so might imperil the security of the October 28 barangay polls.
"Malamang hindi kasi kung bibigyan natin lahat ng barangay, baka lalong nagbarilan ang mga 'yan," said Brillantes.
Last Saturday, Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar disclosed that the city Crisis Management Committee agreed to request to the Comelec to exempt their barangay officials since clearing operations continue in the strife-torn city.
Instead, the poll chief suggested that the candidates should just avail of bodyguards as allowed by the commission.
"Ang rule naman namin sa gun ban is they are entitled to securities since they are candidates. Bakit kasi gustong gusto nila na sila ang magdala samantalang they are entitled naman to get a security?" asked Brillantes.
Last Saturday, the Comelec began implementing the election gun ban as the country entered the election period for the forthcoming barangay polls.
In a related development, the Comelec – Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) reported that 211 of the 348 gun ban exemption and security availment applications have already been approved by the poll body.
Meanwhile, 133 applications are still up for evaluation by the poll body while four have been deferred over the non-compliance of requirements. No applications that have been denied so far.
Earlier, the Comelec elected to extend the validity of the gun ban exemptions it issued in the May 13 polls although they are still subject for renewals. (HDT/Sunnex)