Metro goes dry: 5-day ban on liquor ‘good for voters’
A dry spell is about to hit Metro Manila and it has nothing to do with summer or the dwindling water supply.
From Thursday, May 9, until Monday, May 13, residents of the metropolis are prohibited from selling, buying or consuming— particularly in public places—alcoholic beverages in line with the nationwide liquor ban imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Chief Insp. Kim Molitas, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) spokesperson, on Tuesday warned that violators would be arrested and could end up being jailed for not more than six years.
Speaking to reporters at Camp Crame, Molitas also urged store owners and hotel operators to observe self-regulation by observing the five-day ban on alcoholic drinks.
“We are reminding the public of the liquor ban for this election because Filipinos have been used to the shorter two-day liquor ban [imposed] in previous elections,” she said.
She noted that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) had initially proposed a month-long prohibition on the sale and consumption of liquor in the metropolis but the Comelec approved only a five-day nationwide ban.
“This initiative is still part of the government’s efforts to make the May 13 elections secure and fair. This will also be good for the voters,” Molitas said.
“The liquor ban would also prevent the occurrence of alcohol-induced violence,” she added.
According to Comelec Resolution 9582, only hotels and other establishments in tourist destinations accredited by the Department of Tourism are exempted from the prohibition although the management of hotels should still apply for a permit from the poll body.
Molitas said only foreign tourists would be allowed to buy and drink beer, wine and other spirits during the five-day ban.
The Comelec warned that aside from a possible prison term, violators may also lose their right to vote and hold public office.
In Quezon City, the Liquor Licensing and Regulatory Board was ordered on Tuesday by Mayor Herbert Bautista to strictly implement the ban.
The prohibition covers amusement places like bars, cocktail lounges, nightclub, restaurants as well as retailers and wholesalers.
Bautista also advised residents against consuming alcoholic drinks for the duration of the five-day ban to prevent trouble and contribute to the peaceful and orderly conduct of the polls on May 13. With Jeannette I. Andrade
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