MANILA (DWDD) – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced that it will strictly implement the “Gun Ban” with the start of the Election Period for the May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
During the Election Period, the bearing, carrying and transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons and the availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards will be strictly prohibited.
COMELEC Resolution No. 10197, promulgated September 14, 2017 states that “during the election period, no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Commission.”
According to the COMELEC, only regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the Government who are duly deputized in writing by the Commission for election duty may be authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period. However, the COMELEC said, “when in the possession of firearms, the deputized law enforcement officer must be: (a) in full uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number, which shall remain visible at all times, and (b) in the actual performance of his election duty in the specific area designated by the Commission.”
In order to effectively implement the firearms ban during the election period, the poll body said the COMELEC Checkpoints shall be established nationwide. “There shall be at least one (1) COMELEC Checkpoint in each city/municipality. However, additional checkpoints, including those coming from PNP/AFP commands outside the city/municipality, shall be established in coordination with the Election Officer (EO) having jurisdiction over the city/municipality,” the COMELEC said in Resolution No. 10198, promulgated September 14, 2017.
At 12:01 A.M. of April 14, 2018, the ban will take effect and the setting up of checkpoints will commence with a kick-off caravan by COMELEC and PNP. Details of the event will follow.
Gun ban exemptions
The COMELEC, meanwhile, may issue gun ban exemptions to other qualified individuals, “who by nature of their official duties, profession, business or occupation, such as but not limited to cashiers, disbursing officers, persons who are under the Witness Protection Program, etc., are considered as high risk individuals.”
All application/requirements for gun ban exemptions shall be filed with the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) at the COMELEC Main Office, 8th Floor, Palacio del Gobernador Building in Intramuros, Manila. For more information on the gun ban, the public may contact the CBFSP at (02) 559-9759. COMELEC / MCAG