Comelec’s nationwide gun ban to take effect Jan. 13

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QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Coinciding with the start of the election period, the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) nationwide implementation of the gun ban also takes effect on Sunday (January 13).

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), all gun owners’ Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) will be temporarily suspended on the course of the election period.

This means, only those with gun ban exemption coming from the poll body will be allowed to carry their respective firearms.

 PNP-FEO Director PCSupt. Val de Leon warned violators of possible charges of illegal possession of firearms and violations of the Omnibus Election Code.

“Ipinagbabawal ang paglipat ng employees under civil service rules at tsaka yung permit to carry is suspended. However, the movements of controlled chemicals, firearms and permit to carry is allowed if the Comelec grants exemptions,” De Leon said.

De Leon clarified that a gun owner does not have the liberty to carry his or her firearm while the gun ban exemption is on process.

“That is subject for confiscation and corresponding cases will be filed. You already enjoy carrying of firearms kung under process ka. Paano kung na-deny?” he said.

Meanwhile, De Leon advised the public to expect more checkpoints across the country.

He added that a legitimate checkpoint is situated in a well-lit area, manned by a PNP official, a Comelec representative and well-uniformed cops with proper ID. It should also have a proper signage.

Checkpoint police can only do plain view inspection. They cannot ask motorists to open the door and trunk of the vehicle.

The PNP, meanwhile, advised motorists to turn off the headlight, open the inner light of the car and lower down the window shield when at a checkpoint area. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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