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In effect for five months: Election gun ban starts Saturday

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/RHM (The Freeman) - January 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Elections has reminded legitimate gun owners that the total gun ban for the May 2016 national and local elections starts this Saturday, January 9, and ends on June 8.

Under Comelec Resolution 9981, bearing, carrying or transporting firearms or deadly weapons, unless authorized in writing by the poll body, is prohibited during the period.

Airsoft guns and other replica firearms are also included in the ban.

Only regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other law enforcement agencies deputized to perform election duties are automatically authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period.

The Comelec, however, may authorize to bear, carry and transport firearms and deadly weapons the incumbent national elected officials, Cabinet secretaries, members of the judiciary and constitutional commissions, security personnel of foreign diplomatic corps, missions and establishments under international law, and the heads of missions of foreign countries in the country, cashiers and disbursing officers or persons, and private security service providers.

Comelec-Cebu Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said gun holders, even if they are licensed, would still have to apply for exemption to carry firearms during the election period.

“You cannot bring firearms outside your residence if walay exemption from the Comelec,” he told reporters.

He made it clear, though, that deputized law enforcers must be in full uniform and are in actual performance of election duty in their designated areas, and that security guards can only use firearms within their areas of responsibility.

“If dili na sila mag-duty, di pwede nga dad-on ang ilang pusil sa ilaha. Ila gyod ibilin kung asa sila mag-duty,” he said.

He also said that it is only the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel that is authorized to issue certificate of authority.

During the election period, alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct, use of security personnel by the candidates, and organization of strike forces, and suspension of elective officials are likewise not allowed.

Application forms for the gun ban exemption are available on the Comelec official website www.comelec.gov.ph.  (FREEMAN)

 

AIRSOFT ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES COMELEC COMELEC-CEBU ELECTION SUPERVISOR LIONEL MARCO CASTILLANO ELECTION FIREARMS FIREARMS AND SECURITY PERSONNEL ILA PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE SECURITY UNDER COMELEC RESOLUTION
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