Comelec blinks, says Aquino exempted from gun ban


President Benigno Aquino III. AP

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections is now singing a different tune on the issue of exempting President Aquino from the election gun ban.

After declaring that no one, not even the President, was to be exempt from the five-month firearms prohibition, the Comelec now says that Mr. Aquino, owing to his status as commander in chief of the Armed Forces as well as being a gun sportsman may freely tote a gun during the election period.

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Friday announced that the President was “actually exempted” from the gun ban during the 120-day election period, which starts on Sunday, Jan. 13 and ends on June 12.

“All the soldiers and policemen are already exempted and here is their chief executive asking for one,” he said.

“The President need not ask for an exemption as commander in chief. Just to clarify, he is actually exempted,” Brillantes said at a command conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the Department of Education at the Comelec offices Friday.

The President had applied for a personal exemption, through PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima, asking the poll body if he could be allowed to carry a “short firearm” during the period covered by the ban.

Comelec Resolution No. 9561 prohibits anyone—with the exception of at least 38 groups—from carrying a gun during the five-month period before and immediately after the May 2013 elections.

Earlier this week, Brillantes categorically stated that the President was not among those covered by the exemption. He said Mr. Aquino was not automatically covered because the exemption was granted to security personnel assigned to secure officials rather than the officials themselves.

“Which means if you are the Senate President, you won’t be given exemption but your security [will be]. That’s the rule,” he said.

“No one, no matter how mighty and powerful, is above the law,” said Election Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

On Friday, however, Brillantes was seeking to correct supposed “misinterpretations” of the Comelec guidelines listing the entities that can apply immunity from the gun ban.

He said the Comelec initially “wanted to make sure” because the President may have been applying for an exemption for his driver or security.

“He was not included in the resolution only because it was unnecessary to include him. It is already presumed that he is supposed to be exempted,” he said.

He also clarified that the letter asking for a personal exemption for Mr. Aquino was signed by the PNP chief.

The Comelec could not praise the President enough for submitting an application for exemption, saying that he was setting an example for gun owners to follow the rules.

By applying for a personal exemption, Mr. Aquino was “leading by example,” said Election Commissioner Elias Yusoph, who heads the committee on the gun ban.

“He is informing the public that if you want to have personal exemption from the gun ban then you should apply before the Comelec,” said Yusoph.

Like Brillantes’ about-face, Yusoph on Friday also said it was not necessary for Mr. Aquino to secure a personal exemption because he was the commander in chief.

Yusoph stressed, however, that shootfests and other firing competitions are strictly prohibited until the end of the election period.

However, an exemption was made for some members of a group called the Philippine Practical Shooting Association for a shooting competition in Australia, he said. A check with the group’s website showed that the competition is to be held in New Zealand in February and March.

“There is a shooting competition in Australia and the Philippines is one of the participants. We have guaranteed exemption to those who will be competing so they can practice for the competition,” said Yusoph.

The group was allowed an exemption because the shooting competition was to be held abroad, he explained.

Otherwise, its members would not be able to practice with their guns while in the country during the election period, he said.

Comelec Resolution No. 9561 has also provided exemptions from the gun ban for those claiming to be facing death threats. The exemptions are, however, limited to candidates and family members within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.

And even then, those faced with death threats may not apply to carry firearms themselves. The Comelec allows them only up to two security personnel or bodyguards.

The Comelec would also require proof and a filing fee of P5,000, among others, from those who claim to face death threats.

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  • Janch

    Sus, drama!  Ke exempted na o hindi, in the end, bibigyan niyo pa rin yan ng exemption.

  • Political Jaywalker

    Prudence is the word and as Ah Kong my former corner sari sari store owner now a supermarket magnate always say….. Too many talk, many mistake. Less talk, less mistake. No talk, no mistake, LOL…..

  • speaksoftlylove

    Desperate yellowmongrels defended PNoy that allegedly “he was just setting an example.” If this is true then Comelec would have just zip their mouths and let the issue die down instead of making matters worse. But their clarification of the issue is in fact a slap on the face of PNoy for his ignorance of the implications of being a Commander in Chief of All Armed Forces of the Philippines. Comelec is in fact teaching those ignorant imps of the palace.

    Another blogger would like to equate PNoy’s application for gun ban exemption to VP Binay who also applied for exemption. But this clueless blogger forgot the fact that VP Binay is not the President and Commander in Chief of All Armed Forces of the Philippines hence, “he is not presumed exempted.”

  • Mang Teban

    Setting an example would have been not carrying any firearm during the election gun ban. Does the president not trust his security force? Can he, for once, stop from gun practice while the ban is on? Sacrificing a few months without a gun is setting an example. How about it, Mr. President?

  • boybakal

    Comelec blinks, says Aquino EXEMPTED from gun ban…

    Akala ko pa naman sa administration ito….
    No One is Above the Law. That Nobody is Exempt from the Law when the Law says so.
    Yon pala may exemption din pala.

  • Noypi11

    There is no issue here. As commander-in-chief of the armed forces he can carry any firearm he wants. His men, all the soldiers under him  can carry firearms. Why not him?  

  • Fulpol

    exemption from “no wang wang”. he prefer to stop in traffic lights given the fact that he has the privilege to move on but in carrying a gun, its like carrying condom all the time… for protection..

    by the way, he got 24/7 security.

    is that a symptom of psychological illness? just asking…

  • Jimmy

    Kundi di ba naman sira sira ang ulo ng ilang taga Comelec at sasabihin na kahit Prsidente eh hindi exempted sa ban…!!! Eh ang Presidente ang Commander in Chief ng lahat ng pwedeng magdala ng baril…tapos sasabihin ninyong bawal siyang magdala ng baril…mga OGAG….!

  • bongarroyo

    bugaok na nga iyong pahayag ng comelec………mas bugok pa iyong ibang comments dito ni hindi alam kung ano ang posisyon ng isang presidente sa bansang nasasakupan…LOL

    • Mamang Pulis

      OA ang mga gunless society dito.

      bugok pa yun reporter—

  • Bolay-og

    ay ano ito……….parang baliktad na ang sinasabi ni Penoy a……ang BOSS hindi exempted sa Gun Ban pero ang ang trahabador na c noynoy exempted……………………………………………..

    • tagatabas

      Ikaw ang trahabador at si Pnoy presidente and you will be trahabador forever.

  • dennis

    SABI KO NA! Eh di tama ako sa mga nasabi ko na he is ALLOWED!!! “He is the Commander in Chief!” No Law can take that power away from him!

  • farmerpo

    Sorry poHH. Bagong gising lang si Mr Brilliiantes nung malimutan nyang Commander in Chief nga pala si Pnoy. Next tym, inom ka muna ng cafe barako Sir.

  • prangka

    Blinking de-stresses the brain, therefore it’s good Comelec blinks once in a while. 

  • Touch_Me_, Nuts!

    I don’t find it amusing looking at this government making
    itself look like an idiotic  fool day by
    day. As commander-in-chief, the president has all the arsenals available to
    protect himself. Why does Mr. Aquino still have the need for to carry a “short
    firearm” during the gun ban period? No amount of reason to justify its
    turnaround decision, the Comelec makes itself look dumber and dumber by
    thinking that reasonable people will accept its malarkey.  Mr. Aquino maybe a gun enthusiast, but he has
    made many in this country as gun fanatics. This deuced man is full of slogans
    coming under his nose. Can we really count on our leader as kosher? I think he’s
    no better than a used-car salesman. hehehe

    • tagatabas

       Para mabawasan ang inggit mo sa katawan habol ka ng barangay kagawad, bagay sa iyo yun

      • IbigMongSabihin

        ibig mong sabihin ay nasa labas ang utak mo when making comments kaya naman walang laman ang mga comments mo. if so, better stop commenting.

  • Ricky Gallo

    narinig nyo na bang na gun ban ang any commander in chief its his right to defend itself at kailangan nga natin na depensahan ang pangulo they are the most important person in our country hindi si cardinal o si senador o si mang juan 

    • IbigMongSabihin

      ibig mong sabihin ay onli in da pilipins may ganoong klaseng pangulo na ganoon ang mentality….. and onli in da pilipins merong citizens who think not of the law or regulation but onli of their idolized president.

  • Mamang Pulis

    sintido kumon ba tawag doon?

    o tila tang-a lang talaga at nirereport pa yun mga ganito?

    ok–taken out of context–sige na lusot na.

  • Hey_Dudes

    You have to hand it to petty bloggers who think granting the president of the country the right to bear arm  during an upcoming national elections while everyone else is ordered to follow the law, is such an abuse of power.  For these petty bloggers and critics, they think the president will armed himself to the teeth and not  giving thought and consideration  he might just want  assurance he can practice target shooting if the urge suddenly occur?  After all, 6 months of not having the ability to practice his choice of sport is a bit too long.

    I think these petty critics and bloggers who just can’t seem to appreciate anything about this president have too much time on their hands so they nitpick on just about anything he does.

    • tagatabas

       Mga tamang inggit kasi ang mga yan, GMA fanatics ba

    • IbigMongSabihin

      ibig mong sabihin ay di mo alam ang “abuse of power”? pitiful ang mental condition mo iho….. ahhh, those in power like the president should have more exemptions, should have more in law so that their hobbies and past times will not be affected….. ahhh, those not in power must follow the law! … ahhh, ilan bang pinoys ang katulad mo?

  • Sugbuanon86

    PNOY’s behavior does not put him in a good light.

    Mas lalong lumalakas ang haka-haka na baliw talaga ang taong ito.

    It doesn’t only show that the president and commander in chief of the entire armed forces does not trust his own security.

    It also shows that he does not trust his own people.

    Even Hitler and Stalin, the most hated leaders in history, were never known to carry their own guns.

    This extreme paranoia can only be seen in psychotics and mentally ill individuals.

    • tagatabas

      Ang galing mong mag-isip para ka na ring si Enrile.

      • Sugbuanon86

        Dapat pa bang pinag-iisipan ang kabaliwan ni PNOY?

        Eh obvious na obvious na nga eh.

        Di mo ba ito napapansin?

        O nahahawa ka na rin ni PNOY sa kanyang paranoia, at nababaliw na rin.

  • AllinLawisFair

    He was shot five times with one of the bullets still embedded in his body. A number of his bodyguards died protecting him. 

    What if an assassin or a number of a number of them  gunned his bodyguards down and he was the only left left at the mercy of the killers? He was the target and the men tasked to protect him are now dead. 

    Do you think that those killers would not shoot him even if he is unarmed just because he is the President and Commander-in-Chief? 

    • Sugbuanon86

      Pati ikaw, nahahawa sa paranoia ni PNOY.

      He is the commander in chief of the armed forces, for Christ’s sake.

      PNOY thinking about that scenario you just mentioned just confirmed how mentally unstable he is.

      Or maybe, he should not go out, if he thinks the armed forces of the philippines cannot secure his safety.

      Did you realize that you just exposed your psychotic tendency with your comment?

      • tagatabas

         Hindi kaya ikaw ang baliw

    • IbigMongSabihin

      ibig mong sabihin sa scenario na pinalilitaw mo ay ka level mo ng utak ang presidente at ang COMELEC head na bataan ng presidente.  analogous to your philosophy, kung meron 10 bodyguards ang presidente at nabaril lahat ang 10 ay wala na siyang matirang bodygurads, so kelangan dagdagan pa. now, kung gagawiing 20 ang bodyguards ng presidente at nabaril lahat ang 20 ay ubos din, so kelangan na naman dagdagan. now, kung gagawing 40 at sakaling mabaril lahat ang 40, e kulang pa rin…. ganyan po ang mentality ninyo kabayan at ng marami pa nating kababayan na nasa sector na nagpapauto kay Pnoy.  

  • Alisto Juan

    Kabolok-bolok nan Comelec, naunsa naman tawon mo uy. . . Mao diay na way tarong na desisyon kaay dile ka mao mo hunahuna. . Exempted jud na kay Presidente. . .Ambot ninyo. . maajo mo pakugong. .

  • sigena

    ayos to para gamitin ni abnoy ang baril sa sarili nya

    • tagatabas

       At para sa iyo

  • Joe Russo

    I see a bigger problem.  The fact that government employees are corrupt and use their officer for gain.  Is it fair to share that every employee is corrupt.  NO, of course not.  Yet, the corruption is imbedded into your system, culture, and way of life.  Just like it was in the 30’s and 40’s in the USa.  Only until J. E. Hoover (head of the FBI) decided enough was enough did change take place.  I’m wondering in 2013 The Philippines, is no better than countries in Africa when it comes to corruption.  You can bost about having 1 Mayor in 10 nominated to a list of the best Mayors.  I would share guess which one in 10 is corrupt?  Why must I bring this to the for front.  I know, because if you speak up in the Philippines, they will kill you.  Let’s start giving the power to the people to text and call in complaints.  Protect thier phone number and name, (which is impossible) pay them, and relocate them.  Only then the corruption will begin to slow down.  Everyone must watch government.  Your Public Servants are Public Crooks.  How much money must they have before they help the people all the time?  Now start speaking up about corruption Filipinos. (Yes!)

  • Hey_Dudes

    There is just no easy way explaining simple things to those who doesn’t have the capacity to think using their brains and not their hate for this president.

    So I am asking these expert critics this question.  Putting firearms  in the hands of Cardinal Tagle and President Benigno C. Aquino III , how many do you think both will kill in terms of people?

    How many do you estimate groups like MILF’s, NPA, guns for hire syndicate will kill using guns?

    If you can answer it without putting color and hate in your heart, maybe you will understand why the commander in chief and chief executive officer of the country is entitled to having access to firearms while he remain as such?  Bakit pati ba sa pagtulog niya kasama pa rin niya ang PSG? 

    • Sugbuanon86

      Eh gag0 ka pala.

      If the commander in chief of the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines cannot trust his own army to secure his safety that he has to carry his own gun, then maybe, he should just abolish it.

      Huwag na lang siyang lumabas.

      That’s how psychotic this president is.

      That’s bigtime ‘baliw’, in our lingo.

      Si GMA nga, na sabi ninyo na isinusuka ng taong bayan, did not have to bring her own gun.

      Eto pa kayang si PNOY na mataas daw ang ‘approval rating’ at mahal ng taong bayan.

      Ang hilig mo talagang mag twist ng argument.

      You even go to the extent of justifying this psychotic person’s paranoia.

      Baliw si PNOY at nakakatakot ang kanyang paranoia. He needs help. And you are only making it worse, by making him feel that he is okay.

      • Hey_Dudes

        This is how a nincompoop normally answer.  It just goes to show how little your brain is able to think.  Are you saying just because the president is entitled access to firearms regardless of what the Comelec says, you take it he do not trust his security?  Ang babaw naman ng isip mo.  Bakit ang mga pulis me dalang baril kahit na sila lahat ay me dala?  Nangangahulugan ba na hindi trusted ng pulis ang isa’t-isa kaya lahat sila me bitbit na baril?  OOGGAGS number 1 ka rin namam . Si GMA hindi nagdala ng baril kasi mas malaki ang baril sa kanya baka pagputuk siya ang matumba? Anong laking kabaliwan mo dodong?

    • IbigMongSabihin

      ibig mong sabihin kaibigan ay may kakulangan ang utak mo para maintinihan na merong specific exemptions ang COMELEC kaya ang hindi specifically kasali roon tulad ng presidente ay hindi kasali. Ok na ba? at saka napaka babaw naman yata ng utak mo para suportahan ang pahayag ng COMELEC na ok lang ma-exempt ang presidente kasi baka kelangan ng presidente ang baril para sa driver o bodyguard niya. ano ba ang “color ang hate in my heart” para ilantad ang kakulangan sa pag-iisip ng presidente, ng COMELEC at ng katulad mo? wala po. i am just saying what should be properly said.           

      • Hey_Dudes

        Sayang sana nung nakaraan election dito sa USA nasabihan si Obama ng Comelec na bawal gamitin ang Air Force 1 at lalong bawal magdala ng baril ang kanyang mga alalay tama ba ito?  Kasi sa Pinas pala, kahit na ikaw ay presidente pag sinabi ng Comelec huwang hihinga, huwag kang uutut, kailangan susunod ka?  Ungas ka rin naman pala ano?

    • speaksoftlylove

       You don’t have to explain anything if you look outside the box. Cover up lang yang pagka gun enthudiast ni PNoy para hindi mahalata ang kasarian niya. Deal with it.

    • poltergeist_fuhrer

      asintado yata si penoy…nanalo nga siya sa sportsfest…so mas marami siya mapapatay kaysa kay tagle…

  • Phaura Reinz

    This online reporting is the bane of Philippine journalism. Check everything on the report and tell me what is wrong with it. Shameless. 

  • txtman







  • poltergeist_fuhrer

    sabi ni brillantes

    NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW…even the president…he is not exempted…

    tapos biglang nagbago ang ihip ng kinausap ni penoy…

    it only shows na controlado ng gobyerno ang COMELEC na sana dapat independent…

    hindi tayo magtataka na magkakadayaan sa election para maipanalo lang ang mga alipores ni penoy…lalo na si HONTIVEROS…

    yan ang daan matuwid…

    pure hipocrisy

  • Albert Einstien

    my golly…comelec..pnoy can carry even rocket launchers if he wants to. he is the CHIEF EXECUTIVE…he can also GIVE EXEMPTIONS…in fact he can DISSOLVE the whole comelec..judiciary Or congress if OPPORTUNITY ARISES  it is within his POWER…under the doctrine of parens patriae…& being  President as the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines..The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines…if his KKK violates the law he can always give state PARDON or offer state  AMNESTY……look how KKKs behave & have become now…..who would dare go AGAINST a sitting president…  :  >  )

  • Candida Ruiz

    Hahaha … is this a joke or something ? Isn’t this already assumed ? So what if the president carries a gun in his person ? Who in his right mind would stop the presidential convoy to inspect for firearms ? Para sa ordinaryong mamamayan lang yan …  And do you think the president would subject himself to a body search ? Hahaha … This isn’t even news, it’s STUPIDITY !!!! GET REAL !!!!

    • maypakialamtayo

      di ko nga alam kung alam nya na sya ang commander-in-chief, ayaw kong isipin na obob sya o hindi talaga nag-i-isip.

  • Candida Ruiz

    P.S. What would he need a gun for ? 

  • Your_King

    Reality check!!! We are under a time where Aquino and his KKK are exempt from following rules and regulations and even laws. Aquino even implemented his own system known as the selective justice system.

  • disqusted0fu

    A change of heart all of a sudden? Looks like Mr. Brillantes got an earful from our tormenting president.

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