MORE checkpoints will be put up during the election period to ensure that the coming May 2010 elections will be peaceful in this part of Mindanao, police official said.

In an order to all unit commanders in Davao Region, Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Pedro Tango said that starting January 10 until June 9, police checkpoints is intensified in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

"City directors, provincial directors, and regional mobile group commanders must be out in the field supervising their men. This effort should be sustained as the people look upon us to give them peaceful, orderly and honest elections. For guidance and strict compliance," Tango said in his directive.

In Saturday's coordination conference of the Joint Security Control Center composed of the Philippine National Police (PNP), AFP and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Tango cautioned the police that despite the intensified checkpoints, they must still be aware of the rights of the people and of the "plain view" rule in conducting their checkpoints.

"Plain view" means that police could not force passengers from disembarking and even rolling down their windows when passing thru checkpoints. Tango said authorities may, however, request civilians to do so and if they don't accede then authorities could do nothing about it.

The total election gun ban all over the country also started Sunday until June 9. All firearm-bearing individuals, even those with legal papers, who are not in their prescribed uniform, will be arrested in sight.

Tango said that the government is serious in implementing a total gun ban during election for the first time thus police and military authorities will also not hesitate in arresting violators whoever they may be.

Tango said even political candidates whose assigned security details violate the total gun ban will also be charged for having hired an armed bodyguard who is not allowed to carry firearm by the Comelec.

Before the May 2010 elections, some private individuals are still allowed to bear firearms during the campaign period provided. Comelec issues gun ban exemption on their firearms. This time around though, such exemptions are no longer allowed.

Violators, especially those who are in the government, will be facing three charges -- violation of Republic Act 7166, Comelec Resolution 8714, and administrative charge. (BOT)