COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) started implementing the gun ban on January 13, authorities have continuously strengthened security at checkpoints, which resulted to the arrests of some individuals who have violated the Comelec resolution.
Maguindanao Provincial Police reported that 5 persons have been arrested due to carrying firearms amid the gun ban.
The arrested individuals will be charged with illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban.
The Army's 1st mechanized brigade, which covers all towns in the second district of Maguindanao, has also intensified all checkpoints in their area of responsibility to make sure no one will be on the loose with guns
Just recently, the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Comelec and other stakeholders put up gigantic markers along roadsides to remind the people that firearms are prohibited now that it's already election period.
Election priority areas
Maguindanao Police have identified 10 towns in Maguindanao as priority areas in the upcoming election.
Newly-installed Maguindanao provincial director, Sr. Supt. Rodelio Jocson said these towns are areas that need to be watched and guarded closely as all have opposing candidates in the mayoralty positions.
The official did not name the priority areas as of this moment.
He added that when towns are marked as priority areas, PNP is obliged to beef up security.
The list of priority areas will also vary and may change as election day draws nearer depending on the occurrence of violent incidents and threat to security.
Jocson also reminds police officials to not violate the Comelec resolution in giving police escorts to politicians and candidates this election.
An administrative case and violation of the omnibus election code will be charged to those police personnel who will be proven guilty.