Not all Cebu City judges want gun ban exemption

January 10, 2010 1:29 pm 

CEBU CITY, Jan. 10 – Not all Cebu City judges are keen about requesting the Supreme Court (SC) to exempt them from the election gun ban, which started Sunday.

Cebu Palace of Justice spokesperson Judge Gabriel Ingles said personally, he finds it not really necessary for him to ask the High Tribunal for an exemption from the gun ban and that he be allowed to carry his service firearm during the election period.

Ingles, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 58, said they still have to attend to their obligations during the election period.

But the judge, who owns a 9mm pistol, said he sometimes leaves his service firearm in his house when he attends to his official duties.

Ingles said other judges who have “existing threats” to their lives might as well request to be exempted from the gun ban.

But Judges Alma Singco and Ester Veloso said they do not even have service firearms at all.

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor lawyer Marco Lionel Castillano said the Supreme Court can request the Comelec to exempt judges and prosecutors from the election gun ban.

If granted, the Comelec on banc would amend its earlier resolution on the election ban and exempt the members of the judiciary from the policy.

Castillano sees no reason for the Comelec to refuse the judges’ plea.

In previous elections, he said, the Comelec allowed judges to file their request to be exempted from the gun ban.

During the election gun ban from Jan. 10 to June 10, no one, except state forces and private security personnel in official uniform, will be allowed to carry firearms.

All gun-wielding individuals in civilian attire will be arrested on the spot, according to the police.

The PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had signed a joint letter directive stipulating the policies, guidelines and procedures of law enforcement operations during the elections.

The joint PNP-AFP order established Joint Security Control Centers in national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels. (PNA)

LDV/EB/re

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