Gun ban violators now at 56

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Violators of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban is now at 56, after almost a month since it took effect.

Records from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 showed that most violators are civilians at 52.

Two violators are security guards while another two are lumped under the category of other law enforcement agency (OLEA). It was gathered that one OLEA violator is a member of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who was arrested in Iloilo City while the other one is a provincial guard from Aklan province.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Police Office (NOCPPO) scored the most arrests with 17 while the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) logged 12; Capiz PPO and Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) with 7 each; Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and Aklan PPO with 5 each; and Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RFMB) 6, Antique PPO and Guimaras PPO with one each.

Forty-five firearms and 24 deadly weapons, particularly knives, were seized from the arrested gun ban violators.

Among others, they were or will be charged for violation of Comelec Resolution No. 10918, which prohibits the bearing, carrying, or transporting firearms and other deadly weapons outside residence or place of business, and in all public places; employing, availing, or engaging the services of security personnel and bodyguards; and transporting or delivering firearms and explosives, including its parts, ammunition, and/ or components.

Atty. Dennis Ausan, Comelec-6 regional director, has repeatedly stressed that possession of knives constitutes a violation of the gun ban.

“By other deadly weapons, these include knives,” he said.

Those who use knives for their livelihood such as butchers or mananggiti or coconut sap harvesters are excluded from the prohibition.

Ausan said the rule will also be imposed on those bearing explosives; and replica guns, air guns, airsoft guns, and antique firearms.

But he clarified that replicas of air guns and airsoft guns are excluded.

Ausan stressed that the said prohibition is considered an election offense punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years without probation, permanent disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.