MANILA, Philippines - The election liquor ban was lifted Monday midnight but the gun ban will remain in effect until June 12, the police said Tuesday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said they would continue to impose the election ban on firearms even if the actual voting is over.
“For legitimate gun owners, even if [their] guns have licenses, their permits to carry remain suspended until the election period is over and that is from Jan. 13 to June 12,” Cerbo said.
“Our policemen will continue to be on alert until the election process is not yet over. All prohibitions under the election code remain in effect and that includes the implementation of the election gun ban,”
The liquor ban took effect Sunday while the gun ban took effect last Jan. 13. The implementation of the gun ban marks the start of the election period.
PNP data show that as of Tuesday, the number of persons arrested for violating the gun ban and other election laws has reached 3,283.
A huge majority of the gun ban violators, 3,024 of them, were civilians while 137 were security guards. Also arrested were 44 policemen, 43 government officials, 20 soldiers, seven members of law
e nforcement agencies, four militia men, three jail personnel and one fireman.
Meanwhile, a total of 3,190 firearms have been confiscated. Majority of the firearms or 1,088 were revolvers. Also seized were 1,035 pistols, 417 shotguns, 330 rifles, 267 improvised guns or “sumpak,” 28 machine pistols, 21 grenade launchers and four machine guns.
Authorities also confiscated 27,880 weapons including bladed weapons, grenades, ammunition and firearms replica.
PNP to probe MNLF members
Meanwhile, the PNP is validating the identities of the 15 members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who were apprehended in Manila Monday.
Cerbo said they are determining whether the suspects have pending cases.
“Full investigation is underway to include cross-checking for existing warrants for their arrest, their true identities, among others,” he said.
Cerbo said additional personnel from the Regional Public Safety Battalion have been sent to secure the facility where the suspects are detained.
The MNLF members were arrested by members of the Manila Police District at about 5 p.m. in Rosauro Almario Elementary School in
Barangay watchmen noticed the suspects suspiciously wearing jackets and reported them to the police.
The MNLF members claimed they were voters but they were arrested after policemen noticed cal. 45 ammunitions inside their car.
Authorities recovered four pistols and several ammunition from the suspects, who claim to be members of an MNLF unit based in Davao City. – Alexis Romero with Bjorn Beltran