The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has expanded the list of government institutions exempted from the total gun ban beginning January next year when the campaign period officially starts.
In a 17-page resolution issued Monday, the Comelec en banc exempted internal security personnel of the Vice President, the interior secretary and the defense secretary from the ban from Jan. 13 to June 12 next year.
Also exempted from the gun ban are the state, regional, provincial and city prosecutors of the Department of Justice, the internal security personnel of the Bureau of Treasury and agents of the Bureau of Corrections.
These agencies were not exempted from the election gun ban during the 2010 elections.
“[This year] we have a bit of expansion in the list [of those exempted],” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. told reporters in an earlier interview.
But the Comelec stressed that those exempted from the gun ban must be in the regular plantilla of these agencies and receive regular compensation. They must also have a valid permit to carry firearms outside their homes and must also be in the “agency-prescribed” uniform.
The gun ban also covers airguns, airsoft guns or replicas of firearms “in whatever form that can cause an extraordinary person to believe that they are real,” said the Comelec resolution.
Deadly weapons such as bladed instruments, hand grenades and explosives except pyrotechnics are also included in the ban.
Among those regularly excluded from the gun ban are members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Bureau of Customs’ intelligence, investigation and customs police divisions. Jocelyn R. Uy