Election period starts, gun ban on

Starting January 14, "bearing, carrying or transporting firearms of other deadly weapons" is prohibited unless authorized, in writing, by the Comelec, according to its Calendar of Activities and List of Prohibited Acts obtained by MindaNews.

The gun ban is intended to curb violence during the election period.

Violators of the gun ban face imprisonment and disqualification from running for any public office. They will also be disqualified from exercising their right to suffrage, Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr. said a television interview over the weekend.

Aside from the gun ban, the Comelec has also prohibited, starting Sunday, suspension of elected local officials, transfer of government officers and employees, alteration of territory of a precinct or the establishment of a new precinct, the organization of or maintenance of reaction or strike forces, and the use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates.