Election gun ban starts: PNP, Comelec, AFP conduct joint checkpoints
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Policemen are now more visible especially at night.
This is because of the implementation of the election gun ban that officially started on Sunday, January 9. The gun ban will continue until June 8 or until after the election season.
During the period, all the Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) that were issued to firearm holders will be suspended in compliance with Comelec Resolution No 10728.
In a statement released on Sunday, Police Brigadier General Roque Eduardo Vega, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7), said all gun owners, especially the civilians, are now prohibited to carry and transport their firearms even if these are licensed.
But exemptions will be extended to law enforcers who are on duty.
“The exemption to this are regular members of the PNP, AFP as well as members of other law enforcement agencies provided that they are in uniform and are performing official duties. Violation of the resolution shall be penalized with imprisonment of not less than 1 year but not more than 6 months and shall not be subject to probation. The person found guilty shall suffer disqualification to hold public office and be deprived of the right to vote,” reads portions of Vega’s prepared statement.
With the gun ban’s implementation, policemen in Central Visayas are expected to conduct random checkpoints especially at night in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to discourage people from carrying firearms and other deadly weapons.
These checkpoints are in compliance with the directive from their national headquarters and done as a means to deter criminality and the presence of Private Armed Groups and other criminals who may want to take advantage of the May national and local elections, Vega said.
Starting at midnight on Sunday, policemen here conducted checkpoints along Osmena Boulevard in Cebu City and in strategic locations in Mandaue City.
With this, Vega is again appealing for the public to always be cautious to avoid from being victimized by criminals and for the police to always display the “highest degree of professionalism” in the performance of their respective duties and resposibilities, especially during this very crucial time.
“I urge every police officer to display the highest degree of professionalism, integrity, and dedication in performing our mandated tasks to the public to ensure a peaceful, safe, and secure national and local election this year,” portions of his statement reads.
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