Home > Nation > Top Stories
Comelec OKs 'total' gun ban for 2010 elections
KIMBERLY JANE T. TAN, GMANews.TV
10/23/2009 | 11:26 AM
Email the Editor Print | | More
Starting February 9 next year, a total gun ban will be in effect nationwide for the duration of the 2010 election campaign period, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has said.
Though the poll body has yet to release a resolution ordering for the ban, Comelec chairman Jose Melo said the plan will definitely be implemented. "It’s about time na mag-gun ban tayo (that we enforce a gun ban)," he told reporters in an interview on Thursday.
Melo said they plan on coming out with the resolution next week.
Under the ban, Melo said it will illegal for anyone who is not a candidate for public office to carry any kind of firearm during the campaign period which starts 90 days before the election for national candidates and 45 days before the polls for local candidates.
This means the official campaign period for next year’s national polls will start on Feb. 9, 2010 and end on May 8 of the same year. Campaign period for local elections is from March 26, 2010 to May 8, 2010.
Melo added that only the security detail of those who will be running for the position of mayor and above may carry firearms. Only two security personnel in uniform are allowed per candidate.
“Walang mga civilian na hihingi ng (No civilian will be asking for) exemption," said Melo, adding that the only ones to be exempted from the ban are the security escorts of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Vice President Noli De Castro.
The Comelec chief said they will also be asking for pictures of the security personnel assigned to each candidate for security.
“Para kapag may nangyari, maidentify natin kung involved yung security detail nila (So that if anything happens, we will know if their security detail are involved)," he said.
According to data from the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (DIDM), there were 162 election-related violent incidents (ERVI) during the 2007 election period.
Of the 162 recorded ERVIs, 72 involved the use of firearms.
Three regions logged the highest number of ERVIs involving firearms. These include the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the Western Mindanao Region.
In that election period, the police arrested 2,314 people for violating the gun ban and confiscated about 2,000 firearms nationwide. - GMANews.TV