The Inbox

PNoy asks for gun ban exemption

By Mikha Flores, VERA Files

President Aquino has asked the Commission on Elections to exempt him from the gun ban that takes effect nationwide when the election period starts on Sunday, a Comelec official said Thursday.

Elections Commissioner Elias Yusoph said Aquino, a known gun enthusiast, filed for a personal exemption Thursday morning at his office.  The application covers a revolver that Aquino uses in practical shooting.

Yusoph, who heads the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP), is in charge of implementing the firearms ban. His office is swamped with applications for exemptions.

During the gun ban period, individuals are prohibited from carrying or transporting firearms outside his or her residence or place of business, including transport vehicles. Public officials are disallowed from hiring security personnel or bodyguard without Comelec’s approval.

Transport of firearms and other explosives is also subject to Comelec’s approval during the period.

Yusoph said the Comelec en banc will still discuss the President’s application.

“It’s an en banc decision. We still have to deliberate on that,” he said.

Yusoph added that Aquino, as president, doesn’t have to apply anymore for a personal exemption since he already has the Presidential Security Group (PSG) who is in charge of his security.

“He is the president of the Republic of the Philippines. He has the PSG. There’s no need for him (to apply for an exemption),” Yusoph said.

Yusoph said the gun ban provisions for 2013 is mostly patterned after the 2010 gun ban resolutions (Comelec Resolutions 8714 and 8742) but they have expanded the list of persons and agencies that will be exempted.

He said Comelec is considering adding the Solicitor General and the Ombudsman to the list of exemptions.

In Resolution 9561-A promulgated in December, the exemptions include the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines; regular officers, members, and agents of government agencies who perform law enforcement and security functions; privately owned security agencies; members of the judiciary; and security personnel of foreign diplomatic corps and establishments covered by international law.

Comelec has further expanded the exemptions to include the chiefs-of-staffs of the Comelec chairman and commissioners, prosecutors of the Department Justice, Internal Security of the Offices of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, Secretary of the National Defense, and the Office of the Vice President.

According to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes Jr., the reason for the additional exemptions is to avoid petitions for “special” exemptions during the gun ban period.

“The most important is the exemption provision. Everybody wants to get exempted,” Brilliantes said on Nov. 26.

“The reason for the enumeration of the exemption is, para hindi ka na hihingi ng special exemption. Yun ang ina-avoid natin. Kung wala ka diyan, wag ka nang mag-apply (The reason for the enumeration of exemption is to discourage those who apply for special exemption. That is what we are avoiding. If you are not included, then don’t bother to apply anymore),” he added.

However, Brillantes quickly added that the Comelec would still grant individual exemptions provided that the threats are well-established.

Kung may threat ka sa buhay e di ipakita mo na talagang may threat ka. Ibig sabihin merong konting verifications ang allegations mo (If you are receiving threats, then show to us that the threats are true, meaning, your allegations can be verified),” he said.

The CBFSP will oversee the implementation of the gun ban during the election period. It will be headed by Comelec Commissioner Elias Yusoph. Senior officers from the PNP and the AFP will serve as members.

The CBFSP will exercise operational control over the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) and the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC).  The Joint Security Control Centers will be responsible for the issuance of temporary security details.

The CBFSP will also be assisted by a secretariat composed of representatives from Comelec, the AFP and the PNP. A senior lawyer from the Comelec Law Department will head the secretariat.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options