Comelec issues resolution on gun ban, security detail for election period

Published November 17, 2021, 12:32 PM

by Dhel Nazario

A resolution enumerating the rules and regulations on the ban, bearing, carrying, and transportation of firearms has been released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which will take effect during the election period.

Police conduct a checkpoint in Manila to apprehend violators of the election gun ban and other poll offenses. (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to Resolution No. 10728, the election period will be from Jan. 9, 2022 to June 8, 2022.

It also covers the prohibition against availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards. The resolution will be enforcing Sections 32 and 33 of Republic Act No. 7166.

Under the general provisions, it is stated that “No person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons outside his/ her residence or place of business, and in all public places, including any building, street, park, and in private vehicles or public conveyances, even if he/she is licensed or authorized to possess or to carry the same, unless authorized by the Commission, through the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC), in accordance with the provisions of this Resolution.”

It is also stated that “No person shall employ, avail him/herself or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, whether or not such security personnel or bodyguards are regular members or officers of the PNP, AFP, other law enforcement agencies of the government or from a private security service provider, unless authorized by the Commission, through the CBFSC or the RJSCC in case of a TA-SD, in accordance with the provisions of this Resolution.”

Gun ban

The resolution stated that Permits to carry firearm outside of residence (PTCFORs), mission orders (MOs) and letter orders (LOs) issued by the Chief, PNP, the Chief of Staff of the AFP, the Commanding General or Flag Officer in Command of the different branches of the AFP and their subunits, or their duly authorized representatives, or any other head or duly authorized official of government law enforcement agency are “declared suspended, ineffective, and without force and effect” during the election period, “unless properly covered by a Certificate of Authority (CA) duly issued by the CBFSC.”

CBFSC refers to the Committee in the Commission, which shall be responsible for the implementation of the ban on the bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons, and the employment, availment or engagement of security personnel, among others, and the rules and regulations on the application for exemption. The resolution states that it has the sole and exclusive power to issue CAs.

The committee will be composed of a member of the Commission en banc as representative of the Commission and CBFSC Chairperson, and one senior officer of the AFP and one Senior Officer of the PNP, not lower than Officer Grade 07, Brigadier General or Police Brigadier General, respectively, as CBFSC members.

Those who may bear, carry or transport firearms are regular officers, members, and agents of the following agencies of the government who are actually performing law enforcement and/or security functions and/or election duties during the election period:

  • The President
  • The Chairman, Commissioners, Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors, Directors and Lawyers employed by and holding office in the Main Office of the Commission, Chiefs-of-Staff of the Offices of the Chairman and Commissioners, Regional Election Directors, Assistant Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors, Regional Election Attorneys and Election Officers, and Organic Security Officers of the Commission;
  • Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the PNP;
  • Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the AFP;
  • Officers, Agents and Law Enforcement and Security Personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI);
  • Officers and Members of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Department of Justice, and Provincial and City Jails;
  • Officers and Members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP);
  • Officers and Members of the (i) Intelligence Division, and (ii) Investigation Division of the Intelligence and Investigation Service; and ( iii) Customs Police Division of the Enforcement and Security Service of the Bureau of Customs (BoC);
  • Officers and Members of the Port Police Department, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA);
  • Officers and Members of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Police Force;
  • Officers and Members of the Government Guard Units (GGUs) regulated by the PNP under R.A. No. 5487;
  • Officers and Members of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Police Force;
  • Officers and Members of the Law Enforcement Service of the Land Transportation Off ice (LTO);
  • Officers and Members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG);
  • Officers and Members of the Internal Security Operations Group (ISOG) of the Witness Protection , Security and Benefits Program of the Department of Justice;
  • Officers and Members of the Enforcement and Investigation Division, Optical Media Board (OMB);
  • Officers and Members of the (i) Security Investigation and Transport Department; (ii) Cash Department; and (iii) Office of Special Investigation, Branch Operations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP);
  • Officers and Members of the Offices of the Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) of the (i) Senate of the Philippines; and (ii) House of Representatives, including the OSAA-designated regular security escorts of Senators and Representatives;
  • Officers and Members of the Inspection Service of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost);
  • Officers and Members of the Inspection, Monitoring and Investigation Service of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM);
  • Forest Officers defined under P.O. No. 705; Forest/ Park Rangers; Wildlife Officers; and Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under DAO No. 1997-32;
  • Officers and Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP);
  • Officers and Members of the Intelligence and Security Unit, Office of the Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA);
  • Officers and Members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA);
  • Officers and Members of the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime (PCTC);
  • Officers and Members of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA);
  • Officers and Members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU) Active Auxiliaries and Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units Active Auxiliaries already constituted upon the effectivity of this Resolution while within the barracks;
  • Officers and Members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG);
  • (i) Treasurer and Deputy Treasurers of the Philippines; (ii) Officers and Members of the Internal Security Division of the Bureau of the Treasury (BoT); Officers and Members of the Internal Security of the Office of the Vice President; and
  • Other officers and members of departments / divisions/ offices/ units / detachments performing law enforcement and/ or security functions

Also included are other qualified individuals, who by the nature of their official duties, profession, business or occupation, or who are under the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program of the DOJ or a similar official program of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, and deemed by the CBFSC, the Commission, the Chief of the PNP or the Chief of Staff of the AFP as a “high-risk Individual”. Former public officials are also included in this category.

Lastly are competitive sport shooters, excluding alien citizens or foreigners, who will be participating in international classifier and qualifier matches scheduled prior to the Election Period, in representation of their duly registered organizations and/ or the Philippines, may bear, carry, or transport firearms during election period, after having proven to the CBFSC their track record and history of participation in national and international recognized/sanctioned shooting competitions, in representation of their duly registered organizations and/or the Philippines.

Security detail

Under the resolution, it stated that all existing authority granting security personnel or bodyguards are hereby automatically revoked at the start of the election period.

It further stated that “The authority granted to or the services of those constituting the duly engaged or appointed regular security personnel or complement of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, Chairman and Commissioners of the Commission on Elections, Chief of Staff of the AFP and AFP Major Service Commanders, and Chief and Senior Officers of the PNP, shall subsist pursuant to their respective existing authorizations or engagements,”

Meanwhile, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Provincial Governor, and Justices, Judges and Cabinet Secretaries, whose regular security complement have been provided by the PNP, AFP, NBI or other government law enforcement agencies for at least one year a t the time of the promulgation of the said resolution, may be allowed to retain the services of their currently detailed officers or members of said government law enforcement agencies, with a maximum of two security details accompanying the said public officers at any given time.

“When issued with a CA, the holder shall secure endorsement and approval of the exemption from the appropriate law enforcement agency such as the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG),” the resolution stated.

 
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