Comelec gun ban to take effect at midnight
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) starts enforcing the nationwide gun ban at midnight Friday as the 45-day election period for the barangay elections begins, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said yesterday.
Brillantes said Comelec checkpoints would again be put up along major thoroughfares to help ensure that the elections on Oct. 28 would be peaceful.
“The election period is starting so there are going to be many prohibitions. Starting (Friday) at midnight, we will put up our checkpoints,” Brillantes said in an interview.
In Cebu, Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said only police and military personnel are allowed to bear firearms under the gun ban which lasts until Nov. 28.
Gujilde said deputized law enforcement officers who bring firearms should be in full uniform and are performing official functions.
Also exempted in the gun ban are the president, vice president, senators, commissioners, the Ombudsman, investigators and prosecutors.
Gujilde said candidates who face life and security threats may be assigned police or military escorts by the Comelec.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, violators of the gun ban face imprisonment of up to six years, disqualification from public office, and deprivation of the right to vote.
Under Comelec rules, prohibitions on new government appointments, promotions and the creation of new positions or implementing salary increases in government offices will be in effect in that period.
The transfer of officers and employees in the civil service and the suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay official are also banned.
Brillantes said candidates who want to run in the barangay elections could file their certificate of candidacy on Oct. 11.
“So those who are already putting up posters, those are the ones we call epal (credit-grabbers) … the thick-faced ones. Those are the ones you shouldn’t vote for,” he said. Brillantes urged the public to keep an eye on would-be candidates who are already campaigning and to dump them come Election Day.
In Cebu, the Police Regional Office initially identified 28 barangays in Central Visayas as election watchlist areas (EWAS) in next month’s barangay election.
These barangays are located in Siquijor and Negros Oreintal provinces.
In Cebu City, barangay Guba may be included on EWAS depending on the result of police verification said Senior Supt. Noli Romana, Cebu City police chief.
Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, PRO-7 chief, said he ordered all municipal, provincial and city police chiefs to monitor the situation in their respective jurisdictions. Inquirer with a report from Correspondent Chito Aragon and Peter L. Romanillos
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