MANILA, Philippines – People are banned from bringing firearms outside their homes starting on Saturday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Thursday.
The ban, which will be implemented until November 10, is part of security preparations for the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, according to Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle.
He said the ban also covers all kinds of explosives, airsoft guns, and bladed weapons.
Licensed firearms are likewise not allowed to be brought out in public.
People who violate the ban can be imprisoned for up to 6 years, Tagle warned.
Only regular officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and other government law enforcement agencies are allowed to carry firearms while they are on duty.
During the campaign and election period, candidates are not allowed to have armed bodyguards except upon the Comelec’s approval.
Tagle said candidates who need bodyguards can file an application in their respective Provincial Joint Security Control Centers that are headed by Comelec supervisors.
Those allowed to have security detail during the period are the President, the Vice-President, the Senate President, Speaker of the House, Supreme Court Chief Justice, the secretary of National Defense, the DILG secretary, the Comelec chairman and commissioners, the AFP chief of staff and AFP major service commanders, the PNP director general, and senior officers and members of foreign diplomatic corps.
Those who need bodyguards can submit an application to the Comelec Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel. – Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News