PNP set to enforce total gun ban in Negros Oriental; checkpoints to begin this weekend

January 7, 2010 11:02 pm 

DUMAGUETE CITY, Jan. 7 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Negros Oriental started conducting random checkpoints Thursday before the start of the election period on January 10 to ensure a total enforcement of the gun ban.

PNP provincial director Sr. Supt. Augusto Marquez, Jr., however, clarified that when the election period, alongside the gun ban, takes effect after midnight Saturday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will take the lead in the holding of checkpoints.

The total gun ban is one of the early election-related prohibitions to take effect at the start of the election period.

He said election officers in the different towns and cities in the province will supervise the random checkpoints, backed by the police and the Philippine Army.

Marquez, Jr. has also reiterated that during the election period, the PNP, the Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies, such as the National Bureau of Investigation, maritime and airport police, must secure an exemption from the poll body so their personnel can carry authorized firearms while performing their duties.

At the same time, the gun ban also covers security guards, civilian police and military auxiliary units and others who have been previously permitted to carry guns.

Sr. Supt. Marquez, Jr. also clarified that political candidates and private citizens who were previously allowed to utilize armed security personnel must apply for exemption with the Comelec.

Citing Comelec Resolution 8714, he said local candidates must file their applications for exemption from the gun ban with the regional Comelec officer, while candidates for national elective positions must file their applications with the poll body’s central office in Manila.

He also stressed that security guards, police and military auxiliary units who shall be allowed to carry firearms during the election period, must wear their proper uniforms. (PNA) LAP/JFP

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