12 arrested in Region 11 for gun ban violation

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 January) — Police have arrested 12 suspected violators of the election gun ban in Davao Region since January 10, the start of the election period which ends on June 8.

Speaking in Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press conference, Chief Inspector Andrea G. Dela Cerna, spokesperson of Police Regional Office 11, said the arrests occurred either during police operations or at their checkpoints.

The police have 1,514 checkpoints in the region, she added.

Most of the suspects were from Davao City. The others came from Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Compostela Valley.

The gun ban penalizes carrying and transporting of firearms in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, unless a person has secured a certificate of authorization from the Commission on Elections.

Davao City Police Office spokesperson Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz said some of the nine suspects arrested in the city were also found in possession of illegal drugs such as shabu.

She added that two of the nine suspects claimed they were bringing firearms for self-defense as they were getting death threats.

The Comelec created the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel to implement the gun ban and rules on the use of security personnel or bodyguards during the election period.

It is composed of a senior Comelec officer, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police.

Soldiers and policemen on duty are exempted from the gun ban.

Also exempted are the President, the Vice President, members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, members of the judiciary, the Ombudsman, chairs and commissioners of the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit and Commission no Human Rights. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)