PNP gears up as election gun ban starts Jan. 13

PNP gears up as election gun ban starts Jan. 13

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is gearing up for the implementation of the six-month gun ban for May’s midterm elections, beginning Sunday.

PNP Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, said Friday the processing of licenses for gun owners will also be suspended during the gun ban.

Albayalde said they will also provide security personnel to politicians who would need protection during the election campaign.

“We have Commission on Elections (Comelec) exemptions for the security details of those politicians who applied for one but they will be in uniform because they will be carrying firearms,” the PNP chief told reporters.

During the period, all licenses to carry firearms outside the residence will suspended. Only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement units who are on duty will be issued written permits by the Comelec to carry firearms.

The gun ban seeks to prevent unlawful elements, such as private armed groups and gun-for-hire groups, from intimidating, injuring, or killing anyone during the election season.

On Thursday, the PNP Chief, together with officials of the military and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), held the first of a series of conferences that would ensure the smooth conduct of the midterm elections.

Albayalde said they tackled security preparations, particularly the deployment of personnel to intensify intelligence-driven law enforcement operations; and strengthened police-community partnership to preclude violence and ensure order in the forthcoming midterm polls.

On Saturday, the PNP chief issued a flash memornadum to all police regional directors to conduct simultaneous checkpoint operations for the elections pursuant to Comelec Resolution No. 10468.

It also ordered regional directors to establish at least one checkpoint in each of the country’s 1,600 cities and municipalities in coordination with the local election officer and military territorial unit in the area.

All regional directors were also instructed to personally lead the kick-off of checkpoint operations simultaeously nationwide at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

This year’s midterm elections will be held on May 13, during which, voters will choose 12 senators, congressmen, party-list representatives, and local government officials, such as mayor, vice mayor, governor, vice governor, city councilors, and municipal and provincial board members.