MANILA, Philippines?Those planning to go out and celebrate ahead of the May 10 voting had best damp down their party spirit for now.
The Philippine National Police warned Friday it will be strictly implementing the nationwide election liquor ban imposed by the Commission on Elections.
At the stroke of midnight tonight, the selling and consuming of beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in public places, said Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, the PNP spokesperson.
Espina said the liquor ban will be imposed until midnight of Tuesday.
?All PNP units have been directed to monitor stores, markets, bars, clubs and other places selling and serving liquor and enforce the Comelec resolution on the liquor ban,? Espina told reporters at Camp Crame.
According to Comelec Resolution 8730, only hotels and other establishments certified by the Department of Tourism as tourist-oriented are to be exempted from the liquor ban.
?But they should first secure prior written authority from the Comelec,? Espina said.
Those caught violating the ban on alcoholic drinks face a maximum of six years imprisonment without probation, he said.
Convicted violators may also lose their right to suffrage and be ineligible for public office, he added.
Meanwhile, 95 policemen and 57 soldiers have been arrested since the start of the nationwide firearms ban on Jan. 10.
?These PNP personnel have already been charged with corresponding criminal and administrative cases. We will not condone the misbehavior of our people,? Espina said.
He said a total of 2,503 violators of the gun ban were arrested in various checkpoints across the country, leading to the recovery of 2,180 firearms.
From Jan. 10 to May 7, Espina said the PNP has recorded 74 election-related violence, with 83 casualties, including at least 24 deaths.