Comelec to set up checkpoints all over PH

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Six days before the start of the five-month election period on Sunday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ordered the installation of checkpoints in all cities and towns across the country to ensure the strict implementation of the gun ban.

The total gun ban, which takes effect from Jan. 13 to June 12, covers everyone, except those from government agencies that are given an automatic exemption by the election body.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, carrying firearms outside residences or in places of business is an election offense punishable by up to six years in prison and disqualification from holding public office and exercising suffrage.

Through Resolution No. 9588, the Comelec en banc said at least one checkpoint, to be led by a regular member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police, must be set up for each city or town. There are 135 cities and 1,493 municipalities in the country.

“(A)dditional checkpoints may be established at the discretion of the highest ranking official of the AFP or the PNP in the city or municipality,”  the resolution said.

The Comelec announcement came amid calls for stricter gun control following the carnage in Kawit, Cavite, and the death of two children from guns in New Year revelries.

In its resolution, the Comelec said the checkpoints must be set up only in areas that were well lighted. In case the designated area was poorly lit, artificial lighting must be provided.

Signboards

The election body said a checkpoint must be properly labeled with signboards bearing the name and address of the election officer in the city and identifying the commanding officer or team leader of the checkpoint.

The signboards must be labeled on both sides so motorists could “clearly identify the place as a Comelec checkpoint from a reasonable distance,” the resolution said.

Military and police personnel tasked with manning the checkpoints must be in complete uniform and should not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it also said.

Exemption expanded

Earlier, the Comelec said it had expanded the list of personnel from government institutions allowed to carry firearms during the election period.

The new exemptions are internal security personnel in the offices of the Vice President, of the interior and local government secretary, and of the defense secretary.

Also exempted from the total gun ban are state, regional, provincial and city prosecutors of the Department of Justice, those in the internal security division of the Bureau of Treasury, and agents of the Bureau of Corrections.

These agencies mentioned in the Comelec list were not exempted from the total election gun ban during the 2010 elections.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4XVVCOAZXYTPN2X3IPFCFDSKFM Melvin

    Ang totoo magaling talaga ang maraming checkpoint kasi hindi basta-basta makakalipat ng ibang area o bayan ang mga may baril. Kadalasan kasi ang mga kriminal lalong higit yung mga riding in tandem ang siyang may dalang mga armas at baril, at iba pang grupo na gumagawa ng  pangkikidnap at panghoholdap. Sa checkpoints ay liliit ang mundong kanilang ginagalawan suma-tutal mababawasan ang krimen sa bansa… Sana ito ang ipairal kahit hindi eleksyon…

  • nti_boohaya

    Fact of the matter is it doesn’t take much to set up a check point in every town every day.  I agree with Melvin’s comments below.  Not only it deters people from ransporting unlicensed firearms, checkpoints also enforces so many rules of the road like donning helmets, proper vehicle registration and necessary permits, underage drivers, drunk drivers, overloading, etc. but checkpoints also deters transport of illegal logs, livestock.  Kahit pa matitimbrehan ang mamamayan e at least madisiplinahan sila na susunod sa batas- providing of course if the cops manning the checkpoints don’t use them to raise funds “for the boys.”

  • AZKID13

    Hello this is a Police check point if you have a gun !! that will be P10,000 paid in cash !!  lol

  • randyaltarejos

    How do you know if those people exempted from the gun ban were really authorized by the Comelec? What about if they are wearing fake ID’s just to carry firearms? Who will monitor them? Do you have any password to determine if that person carrying a firearm was authorized by the Comelec?

  • randyaltarejos

    I’m telling the public that those sinister minds, especially the bodyguards of politicians in the provinces, will exhaust all means to cheat their way inside polling places to intimidate voters and election officials. Perhaps, the Comelec may tap companies to volunteer their solar lights to illuminate those dark polling places and streets in the provinces. But then, is there a way to check those loose firearms and the people carrying them without the computer system linked to the PNP headquarters?

  • Cano Manuel

    I hope this reduces crime rate in the coming election. When everything is automated, I believe losing politicians would resolve to killing to ensure their “win”.

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