Gun ban in ARMM voters’ list upPhilippine Daily Inquirer
DAVAO CITY—The government is bent on imposing gun ban in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) starting July 9, when the region’s voters troop to their precincts, the start of the general list up there, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said here on Wednesday.
“There will be no sacred cows,” Robredo told ARMM executives who gathered here for a convention.
Chief Supt. Mario Avenido, ARMM police director, said under the gun ban, permits to carry firearms issued to civilians would also be suspended during the registration process that would be held until July 18.
Some mayors later told Robredo that they were worried about not having armed escorts because of the peace and order situation in their areas.
But Robredo said the government would be providing them police escorts.
“Two police security escorts will be assigned to each local chief executive, but no private security is allowed to serve as bodyguards. For civilians, who feel unsafe, they can request security detail from the police, which should conduct a threat assessment as basis for assigning them police officers,” he said.
Robredo said there would be no padrino system this time as those who allow politicians to carry firearms during the gun ban will be sanctioned.
“Walang makikiusap. Ang pakikiusapan ay matatanggal sa trabaho (There will be no requests. Anyone who requests will be removed from their position,” he said.
Robredo said checkpoints will be established to ensure compliance and these will be manned by soldiers and policemen from outside ARMM.
Some of the mayors, who instantly approved of the gun ban, said it would be wise to include Cotabato City and Zamboanga City in its coverage because these are considered gateways to ARMM areas.
In Cotabato City, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting in the ARMM said it supported the gun ban and will also tightly monitor the general list up.
The PPCRV, in a statement, said that the general registration of voters is “a vital part of the electoral reforms agenda of the government and its people.”
The PPCRV also said it would continue its voter’s education program so that every voter would be aware “of their inherent right to freely choose deserving and worthy leaders who can lead us to real transformation from the sad impression of being the country’s cheating capital to a genuine democracy where everyone’s rights are recognized, respected and upheld.” Ayan Mellejor and Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao