- The PNP announces that the number of gun ban violators has reached its 500th mark
- Police officials say that majority of the arrested violators are civilian persons
- The Comelec has recently exempted congress members with outstanding candidacies from the gun ban
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has announced that the number of violators it has apprehended for the gun ban implemented by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already reached its 500th mark.
In an article wired by the Philippine News Agency to InterAksyon on January 31, it was disclosed that the country’s police force has already confiscated 3,028 deadly weapons, 304 firearms, 14 grenades, 12 firearm replicas, seven other explosives, and 2,995 pieces ammunition since the ban started on January 10.
According to Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, spokesperson of the PNP, among the 508 persons who were arrested are 490 civilians, six security guards, four law enforcement agents, four government officials, two policemen, and two Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) members.
Last Thursday, the Comelec has issued Resolution 10047 that exempts incumbent members of the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives who are candidates for the upcoming elections from the gun ban; amending its previous rule that it only reserves the right to carry firearms to those who are not aspiring for a position in the coming polls.
The electoral body’s decision was based on the opinion given by Acting Director Maria Norina Tangaro-Casingal of the Comelec Law Department; stating that “an incumbent Senator or Member of the House of Representatives remains to be a high-ranking elected official, and is entitled to such position, to exercise and discharge his lawful mandate to the full term of his Office.”
For its part, the PNP has stated that despite the outstanding exemptions, police personnel will remain faithful to their task of ensuring the security and safety of citizens as the election draws near.
“Police Director General Ricardo Marquez, assures that the PNP will remain vigilant in its law enforcement and security operations to ensure safe and fair election,” Mayor said.