MANILA—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has set up checkpoints nationwide following the implementation of election gun ban imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). The gun ban took effect yesterday at 12 midnight and will be enforced until June 8, 2016.
”One important aspect in the preparation for the peaceful and orderly election is the implementation of gun ban,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. was quoted as saying in a Manila Bulletin report.
“The prevention in the misuse or illegal use of firearms is one of the most effective ways to assure the safety of the public and orderly election. That’s why our Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines will rigorously deputize the Comelec to assure orderly election in our country,” he added.
Checkpoints will be set up in strategic locations to deter the public from carrying firearms, said PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor.
However, individuals who carry Certificate of Authority from the Comelec are exempted from the gun ban.
“We would like to remind the public, especially gun owners, that all the privilege to carry your firearms outside your houses are no longer allowed, except if you are able to get an exemption from the Comelec (Commission on Elections),” said Mayor in the same report.
“The Comelec will issue exemptions to those (with) serious security requirements,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Col. Restituto Padilla told Inquirer.net.
Members of the PNP and the military are also prohibited to carry firearms when off-duty.
Aside from the PNP, the AFP was also deployed to enforce gun ban in areas where police forces are few.
“The concentration of our soldiers is in conflict-affected areas like in Mindanao and where the PNP’s numbers are thin,” Padilla said.
At 1:20 a.m., Romel Simbran, 37, a security guard from Purok 1, Barangay Mabini in Santiago City was apprehended by the city police for violating gun ban.
“At the checkpoint in Barangay. Batal, the security guard was found in possession of two units of caliber .38 Armscor with 14 live bullets,” Santiago City police chief Senior Superintendent Alex Santos was quoted as saying in a Philippine Star report.
Simbran will face criminal charges and a possible revocation of license.