LEGAZPI CITY (14-Jan-2013/PNA) – The first day of the election gun ban across the Bicol region went smoothly without any major problem encountered, the spokesman of the Bicol Regional Police Office based at Camp Gen. Simeon Ola here said on Monday.
The gun ban ordered by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)took effect on Sunday, the same day the five-month election period for the May 13 polls started.
The COMELEC gun ban states that “bearing, carrying and transporting firearms and other deadly weapons are prohibited unless authorized in writing by the Commission.”
Supt. Renato Bataller, the spokesman of the Bicol Regional Police Office, said, “We have encountered no significant problem in the conduct of security operations in line with the election gun ban from day one until today.”
“Everything went normal with no violation reported on both the parts of our enforcers and the public,” he said.
This means that operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) all over the six provinces and 107 municipalities of the region properly conducted the COMELEC checkpoints in search for guns among motorists and commuters while no unauthorized carrying of firearms or any other prohibited weapons was apprehended so far, he said.
It also means that the police have been properly oriented on the conduct of the checkpoints, while the public has been correctly warned, Bataller added.
Under the ban, permits to carry firearms outside residence issued by PNP to civilian gun holders are suspended from Jan. 13 to June 12 this year and only law enforcers who are in uniform and on duty are allowed to carry firearms outside their residences.
The PNP has also suspended the issuance, processing, approval and release of firearms licenses during the same period, except for the renewal of existing licenses.
The gun ban aims to protect candidates, voters, COMELEC officials and the public.
Violators will be apprehended, prosecuted and penalized when found guilty.(PNA)