Gov't authorities net 16 gun ban violators on Holy Tuesday

March 31, 2010 11:04 pm 

MANILA, March 31 – Government security forces apprehended 16 more violators of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-imposed nationwide total gun ban on Holy Tuesday, bringing to 1,717 the total number of arrested individuals since the ban started last January 10.

Quoting reports from the National Election Monitoring and Action Center (NEMAC), Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said the latest violators were composed of 15 civilians and one government personnel.

Espina said the latest violators yielded nine firearms –three classified as high-powered and six low-powered; four bladed weapons and two explosives during actual conduct of inspection along various checkpoints nationwide.

As of midnight Tuesday, NEMAC records showed that a total of 1,717 individuals, composed of 1,532 civilians and 185 government personnel including active members of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), have already been arrested since the Comelec ordered the implementation of the nationwide total gun ban last January 10.

The gun ban violators yielded a total of 1,447 firearms –543 of which were classified as high-powered while 904 others were low-powered; 812 various types of gun replicas, 423 bladed weapons and 246 explosives.

The Comelec, through Resolution 8714, has imposed a nationwide total gun ban as part of the government’s step-up measures to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections in May.

Under Comelec Resolution 8714, only bonafide members of the PNP, the AFP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other government and accredited private security agencies are allowed to carry firearms during actual performance of their duty and wearing proper uniform within the prescribed election period.

The election period started January 10 and will last up to June 9.

Aside from the nationwide total gun ban, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also ordered government security forces to dismantle private armed groups (PAGs) operating in the country to prevent election-related violence. (PNA) LAP/MM

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