Comelec issues gun ban rules for Palawan recall polls

gun-banMANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday issued the guidelines for the firearm ban that will be imposed in connection with a recall election in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan on May 8.

Comelec’s Resolution 9944 restricts the assignment of security details during the election period, from tomorrow until May 18.

The poll body set the recall election after approving a petition filed by Alroben Goh against Mayor Lucilo Bayron.

Comelec said the issuance of firearms licenses and permits to carry firearms outside of residence within the city will be suspended during the election period.

The ban covers candidates in the recall polls and incumbent public officials.

The Comelec said transport of firearms, gun spare parts, ammunition and explosives by licensed manufacturers, importers, exporters, and their purchase and sale with written authority from the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel will be allowed within the period.

The sale, transport or delivery should be done within 24 hours from the date indicated in the authorization.

The poll body also prohibits shooting competitions in the city, unless it has been previously scheduled and authorized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and sanctioned by the Philippine Practical Shooting Association, International Practical Shooting Confederation or any duly recognized bodies.

Organizers and participants in the competition should secure individual permits to transport their firearms and ammunition.

Aside from certain Comelec members, exempted from the ban are the President, Vice President, senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, court justices, the chiefs of the Constitutional Commissions and Commission on Human Rights and security personnel of diplomats.

The Comelec said the permits to carry firearms granted to security personnel or bodyguards of certain individuals have also been revoked, except for those providing security to some government officials.

Except for candidates in the recall election, the poll body allowed elective officials in the province, other public officials and private individuals in the city who were provided security escorts by the Armed Forces, PNP, National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to retain two security personnel.

These individuals are required to apply for authorization with the Comelec.

When circumstances require, a candidate or his immediate family within second degree of consanguinity or affinity may apply for authority to employ security personnel, the Comelec said.

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