PNP vows to continue imposing nationwide gun ban

September 28, 2010 10:55 am 

MANILA, Sept. 27 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue implementing the Commission on Elections-imposed gun ban despite legal opinion from veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal contesting the prohibition.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo said that while the PNP respects the opinion of Macalintal that the gun ban implementation should begin only on Sept. 27 instead of Sept. 25, the prohibition will be continued as mandated by the Comelec in connection with the Oct. 25 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.

”We respect the legal opinion of Attorney Macalintal, he’s a very good election lawyer, he’s an expert on that, but in the meantime, we have the Comelec resolution mandating us to conduct checkpoint operations, declaring gun ban starting September 25, so we will continue enforcing that resolution,” said Bacalzo.

In a broadcast interview, Macalintal even said those arrested by the PNP on Sept. 25 up to Sept. for violating the gun ban 27 should be released immediately.

However, Bacalzo said the PNP will continue enforcing the Comelec resolution.

”In the event that we will arrest, confiscate firearms, we will file cases before the Department of Justice and it's up to the DOJ to determine the legality of our arrest or confiscation,” said Bacalzo.

”In the meantime, we will be coordinating with the Comelec regarding this issue,” Bacalzo also said.

The PNP chief vowed that the 135,000-strong police organization will not stop implementing the gun ban unless otherwise ordered by the Comelec.

”Unless we are restrained by the Comelec itself,” replied Bacalzo when asked if charges against those arrested will be pursued.

As of noontime Monday, the National Election Monitoring Action Center (NEMAC) showed that a total of 22 persons have been arrested in various checkpoints throughout the country. (PNA) scs/MM

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