MANILA - The Philippine National Police said Saturday it started implementing a gun ban and other prohibitions during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election period.
Checkpoints were set up all over the country, including 5,744 villages that were placed on a watch list for potential violence, said Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, the PNP spokesman.
During the election period, which ends on May 21, gun owners may not bring their firearms outside their homes, even if they have permits, Bulalacao told ANC.
At least one person was arrested at the start of the gun ban early Saturday, a person who was caught with a firearm inside a KTV bar in Cadiz City, Bulalacao said.
Bodyguards need to secure new permits to exempt themselves from the gun ban as those issued before the prohibition took effect are considered revoked, he said.
Bulalacao said police would observe proper protocols at checkpoints.
"They should be properly identified, wearing the proper uniform. They should be officer-led and as much as possible, they should be establishing checkpoints in well-lighted places."
"Dapat may patrol car, marked vehicles. They should observe the plain view doctrine. They should not be requiring our people to open their compartments of their vehicles," he said.
There were no initial reports of violations in Quezon City, where checkpoints were set up overnight, said Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, the city police chief.
There were also no immediate reports of violations in other major cities, including Iloilo and Davao.