5-month gun ban starts

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is reminding residents to refrain from bearing, carrying, or transporting in public areas as the five-month election gun ban started Sunday.

In a text message on Sunday, Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, DCPO spokesperson, said that between January 10 and June 8, only police in complete uniform are allowed to carry firearms in public places, including any building, street park, private vehicle or public conveyance, unless they have secured Certificate of Authorization from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

DCPO has more or less 1,400 police personnel, she said.

Two areas in Davao City and 21 other cities and municipalities in Region 11 have been placed under election watchlist.

Marilog and Paquibato districts in Davao City were placed under category 2 due to their history of “politically motivated armed threats”.

The Police Regional Office 11 (PRO) said Category 2 are those areas with presence of high risk threat from armed groups while Category 1 are those that have high possibility of politically-motivated incidents without the involvement of terror groups.

In Davao del Sur, Malita and Malalag towns were placed under category 1, and Bansalan, Sta. Cruz, Padada, Hagonoy, and Kiblawan towns under category 2.

The PRO 11 is yet to classify Digos City under what catergory.

In Davao del Norte, the towns of New New Corella, Kapalong, Talaingod, and San Isidro are under category 2.

Also under category 2 are Mati, Lupon, and Banay-Banay towns in Davao Oriental.

In Compostela Valley, Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, Monkayo, Montevista, and Laak towns were placed under category 2.

January 10 to June 8

The Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) was created by Comelec to implement the laws and rules on the ban on bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons, and the employment, availment or engagement of security personnel or bodyguards during election period from January 10 to June 8, 2016.

The CBFSP is assisted by secretariat, headed by a senior officer of Comelec, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

“The CBSFP will exercise operational control and supervision over the Regional Joint Security Control Centers (RJSCCs) and the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCCs), and City or Municipal Joint Security Control Centers (C/MJSCCs),” she said.

The committee also issues Certificates of Authority (CA) to carry firearms.

Under Rule III of Sec. 1 of Comelec Resolution 1005, exemption from gun ban is granted to the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the Vice President, senators and members of the House of Representatives, and Cabinet secretaries.

Also among exempted are chief justice and justices of the Supreme Court, Jurtices of the Court of Appeals, Snadiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals, and judges of the Regional

Trial courts and municipal/metropolitan/circuit trial courts.

The Ombudsman, chair and commissioners of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit and chair and commissioners of the Commission no Human Rights are also exempted from the gun ban. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)