Coming soon: Gun ban, other prohibitions during election period

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2018 03:11 PM

MANILA- The Commission on Elections on Thursday reminded the public of several prohibitions that will be implemented once the election period for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls begins this Saturday, April 14.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez urged the public to comply with poll-related prohibitions for the election period of April 14 to May 21.

A gun ban will be implemented alongside a ban on the use of personal body guards or security personnel.

Starting April 14, all permits to carry, mission orders, or any piece of official authorization to carry firearms outside of home or place of work will be deemed cancel.

In order for one to carry or transport firearms, one has to secure a gun ban exemption from the Comelec.

“We will very strict in granting personal exemptions. Kung hindi mo kailangan sa trabaho, may pangamba sa buhay niyo, may threat kayo, you have to be ready to prove that you have a credible threat,” Jimenez said.

Only law enforcement agencies, and those whose work requires firearms will be allowed to carry without an exemption. 

“When they are bearing firearms they must be in the performance of their duty, and when applicable they must be in complete uniform. Kailangan identifiable sila, name tags, and everything,” Jimenez said.

Use of government property for campaigning is also not allowed as well as any movement of personnel in civil service.

“Please comply with election ban,” said Jimenez.

Voters who transferred villages since 2013 and were not able to register their new residence during the registration period last year, will have to vote from the village where they came from, Jimenez said.

REMINDERS FOR CANDIDATES

Jimenez also urged candidates for the May 14 polls not to campaign early.

“Wala naman talagang pagbabawal for that. Just to keep the barangay elections clean and fair, sana walang masyadong mag take advantage,” he said.

The poll body also warned against the inappropriate putting up of posters and campaign materials on trees, electric posts, and places where these can cause harm to the community.

Inappropriate display of posters and campaign materials is considered as an election offense which can be meted with a penalty of up to 6 years of imprisonment, or a ground for disqualification, the Comelec said.

Jimenez also reminded candidates for the upcoming elections of their spending limit of P5 per voter in the territory where they are running for office.

“If you go over that then it's an election offense. You might be disqualified,” he said.

Comelec also reminded motorists that they need not go down their vehicle at police checkpoints, and that policemen should only look from outside of the vehicle.

“Kailangan yun mga motorista, we advise them to cooperate fully and not to worry. It's part of the process to keep the election safe,” Jimenez said.

Data from the Comelec show that there are around 57.3 million registered voters aged 18 and above while there are 20.6 million registered voters between the ages of 15 to 30 years old for the SK elections.

Winning candidates in this year's elections will only have about 2 years to serve in their communities since the next barangay and SK election will be held in 2020.