By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Friday reminded the public not to bring firearms outside their residence as the first day of the election gun ban starts on Saturday.
Citing Commission on Election (Comelec) Resolution 10197, Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, PNP spokesperson, said in a radio interview that the gun ban will take effect at 12:01 a.m. of April 14, which is also the start of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections period and the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC).
The election gun ban will end on May 21, or a week after the elections, he added.
“If you don’t have a gun ban exemption from the Comelec, please, spare yourself from problems and do not bring your firearm outside of your house,” Bulalacao said.
Comelec Resolution 10197 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.”
Bulalacao also said only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies are authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period.
However he reminded that security forces must be wearing full uniform, and must be in the actual performance of their election duty when carrying their firearms.
The PNP, according to Bulalacao, will also conduct more checkpoints across the country “to ensure a peaceful election period.”
Any individual who will be found violating the election gun ban will be arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms and election rules, Bulalacao warned.