MILF not exempted from election gun ban, Comelec says

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not exempted from the election gun ban being implemented for the midterm elections in May.

Commissioner Elias Yusoph, head of the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP), said the group is not included in the list of those exempted from carrying firearms during the election period, which took effect on January 13 until June 12.

"In so far as our resolution is concerned, this covers everybody… I think the MILF is still covered," he said.

The Comelec gun ban prohibits to bear, carry, transport firearms and other deadly weapons unless authorized by the Comelec.

Yusoph said the group can still be covered by the ban if the government and the MILF will consider it as part of the two panels' agreement.

"If they have that exemption, we can recognize it. But as of now, we haven't received any. And even if they have that agreement, it has to pass through our committee so that we can approve it. We respect the agreement between the GPH and MILF," he added.

In October, the Philippine government and the MILF signed the framework peace agreement, which will be the basis for the final peace pact for Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Yusoph reported that they have already received numerous applications for the gun ban exemption and security personnel.

At the same time, he disclosed that some 100 applications from security agencies, government employees, senators, congressman, governors, and local executives have been approved. (FP/Sunnex)



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