Gun ban takes effect in Philippines

A ban on carrying firearms went into force in the Philippines Sunday before local elections, amid growing debate about the need for stricter controls following a series of shooting deaths.

The ban will end on June 13 and is meant to curb violence linked to mid-term elections in May, when the country elects thousands of local officials ranging from governors to senators.

"We have set up random checkpoints across the country," to enforce the ban, Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez said on radio station DZMM.

Jimenez said the campaign would likely lead to arrests soon, though none had happened in the first hours of the ban.

The ban covers the carrying of firearms, the hiring of armed bodyguards by candidates and the transporting of arms, explosives, raw materials or parts, the elections body said.

Exempted from the ban were members of the police, armed forces and President Benigno Aquino -- himself a gun enthusiast.

Aquino had earlier rejected calls to declare a permanent, total gun ban as a knee-jerk reaction following high-profile gun-related deaths since the start of the year.

Two children died from bullet wounds caused by celebratory gunfire from New Year revellers.

Just a few days later a drug-crazed gunman shot dead seven people during a 30-minute rampage on the outskirts of Manila, before police killed him.

And on Sunday last week security forces shot 13 alleged criminals dead.

Rights monitors have said the proliferation of unlicensed guns fuels a sense of impunity across the Philippines, where some politicians employ private militias to threaten rivals and voters.

According to police data, there were 1.2 million registered firearms in the Philippines as of last year, with roughly another 600,000 unlicensed firearms in circulation.

While carrying an unlicensed firearm is punishable by up to six years in prison, it is relatively easy to acquire guns on the black market.

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.

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Noy to visit Canada, Japan
    Noy to visit Canada, Japan

    President Aquino will embark on a state visit to Canada in May and Japan in June to meet with his counterparts and promote Philippine interests. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino accepted the invitation from Canadian Governor General David Johnston to make a state visit to Canada from May 7 to 9. Tied to this trip is the President’s one-day working visit to the United States to meet with potential investors and with the local Filipino community in Chicago, Valte …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

  • S&P keeps Phl investment grade rating
    S&P keeps Phl investment grade rating

    Standard & Poor’s yesterday kept its credit rating on the Philippines on expectations the country would be able to further improve its debt metrics. The country enjoys a “BBB” rating from the debt watcher with a stable outlook. The grade, awarded to the Philippines in May last year, is a notch above the minimum investment grade (BBB-). S&P said the Philippines’ external position should remain strong with increasing foreign exchange reserves and low external debt burden. …

  • GMA takes bail plea to SC
    GMA takes bail plea to SC

    Detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has elevated to the Supreme Court (SC) her plea to be allowed to post bail in her remaining plunder case that was rejected by the Sandiganbayan. In a 38-page petition filed last Thursday afternoon, Arroyo cited her deteriorating health in asking the high court to reverse the rulings of the Sandiganbayan’s first division in October last year and last February denying her bail motion in the case involving the P366-million Philippine Charity …

  • Mild quake hits Surigao
    Mild quake hits Surigao

    A magnitude 3.2 earthquake hit parts of Surigao del Norte yesterday, but no damage or injury was reported, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options