Comelec checkpoints set up in Pateros as gun ban takes effect

Published January 9, 2022, 3:03 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Pateros and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have set up several checkpoints in the municipality as the gun ban for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections started on Jan. 9.

According to Comelec-Pateros head Armando Mallorca, all vehicles will be subjected to inspection with no exemptions. Motorists need to show their official receipt (OR) and Certificate of Registration (CR), and vaccination card.

Comelec-Pateros head Armando Mallorca (left) at the Comelec checkpoint in Pateros (Photo courtesy of Armando Mallorca)

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 and mayors in the region including Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III have signed a resolution restricting the movement of unvaccinated individuals. Ponce issued an executive order to implement the restriction.

The gun ban is in effect in the country from Jan. 9 to June 8. According to Mallorca, at the Comelec checkpoint, motorists will be subjected to visual search, and there will be no physical or body search.

According to the PNP, motorists are not compelled to go out of their vehicles for physical check because the inspection is meant to proceed only through visual search.

“They will not be required to open their glove compartment, trunk and bags,” said PNP chief General Dionardo Carlos.

But in case there is defiance of suspected motorists—a reasonable ground to believe that a person has just committed or about to commit a crime—the PNP personnel will conduct further search.

A police officer inspects a document of a motorist in Pateros (Photo courtesy of Armando Mallorca)

According to the Comelec “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 possess or carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Commission.”

The Comelec’s Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC) has the sole and exclusive authority to issue certificates of authority, which authorizes the “bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons; or employment, availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards; or transport or delivery of firearms and/or its parts, ammunition and/or its components, and, explosives and/or its components.”

During the gun ban period, the following acts are prohibited, according to the Comelec:

– To carry firearms and deadly weapons outside residence or place of business, and in all public places.

– To engage the services of security personnel

– To transport firearms and explosives, including its spare parts and components

Violation of the gun ban will incur penalties of imprisonment from one to six years, permanent disqualification from public office and loss of right to vote, and deportation for foreigners (only after prison term is served), according to the Comelec.