IN THE beginning of the year, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that there would be a gun ban from Jan. 13 to June 12 because of the midterm elections in May.
It made it clear that during this period, bearing, carrying or transporting firearms, explosives or other deadly weapons was prohibited. Only qualified people could seek an exemption and apply for the appropriate certificate of authority (CA) at the Comelec.
“Unless properly covered by a CA, any permit to carry firearms outside one’s residence or place of business will be ineffective and without force and effect during the election period,” the poll body said.
“As of March 8, a total of 2,473 violators had been arrested in 257,449 PNP-Comelec checkpoints nationwide. Of that number, 2,329 were civilians, 24 were members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), three from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 39 were either government employees or elected officials, 45 security guards, two personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, six members of other law enforcement agencies, two personnel of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, one foreign national and 22 members of threat or private armed groups,” according to a SunStar Manila report.
I’m not sure if Nelson Encabo Lim, the resident of Sitio Cabag-o, Barangay Cogon, City of Naga who was arrested last Thursday morning, March 21, during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago event in Mandaue City, belonged to the latter, although he did say he was there as an escort for a politician.
Maybe Lim didn’t get the memo. Or he hasn’t been reading the newspaper, listening to the radio or watching TV, which would explain his ignorance. Because he had no qualms about bringing his loaded .45 pistol to the venue without a license or a CA.
Mind you, he would not tell police who his “boss” was. Apparently, he didn’t want to embarrass the latter. Because, let’s face it, he wouldn’t want his stupidity to rub off on his employer, right? Not this close to the election, anyway.
Then again, maybe he did. Tell police who he was working for, that is. Maybe that person is a Big Kahuna, which might explain why his or her name did not make it to the news report. Maybe. Either way, Lim deserves to have the letter “S” stuck on his forehead.
Come on, what was he thinking? Really.
Police said they would examine his firearm to determine if it had been used in past shootings. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. We already know he has no pending cases in Mandaue City. Then again, he hails from the south.
But maybe Lim is who he says he is. A sand sifter in his home village, who volunteered as part of the civilian security team, which police call “force multiplier.” He can add to that “an accused” because he was charged with illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban before the city prosecutor’s office last Thursday afternoon.
What happened to Lim should serve as a warning to others out there who think they can get away with breaking the law. I know, some of them are just trying to impress their patrons. But is losing their liberty really worth it?
Maybe we should also ask Shielbert Michael Alerta Encabo. The supporter of San Fernando mayoralty candidate Ruben Feliciano was arrested by operatives of the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Office 7 after it was discovered that Encabo was allegedly responsible for posting the “kill list” that contained the names of Mayor Neneth Reluya and her husband and their allies on Facebook.
Of course, Feliciano continues to deny any involvement.
Hmm, I wonder if Encabo is related to Lim?