The Commission on Elections in Negros Oriental is gearing up for the strict enforcement of the total gun ban and other prohibited acts at the start of the election period Sunday, January 10, until June 8.
Provincial Election Supervisor, Eddie Aba, said yesterday the ban on firearms is of primary concern to the Comelec at this time even though there are other prohibitions in line with the coming May 9 presidential polls.
Permits-to-carry firearms are suspended and no one is authorized to carry his gun outside of his residence, unless otherwise authorized by Comelec.
Aba urged those seeking exemption from the gun ban to apply online, as it is the Comelec's Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel that would issue certificates of authority to bear, carry, or transport firearms or deadly weapons.
The Philippine National Police, deputized by the poll body, will conduct checkpoints to ensure the strict implementation of the total gun ban, Aba said.
The law also provides certain exemptions for security personnel, such as the President, Vice President, senators and members of the House of Representatives who are not candidates, justices, judges, and other government officials, to name a few.
Aba, however, clarified he does not have any idea who in Negros Oriental had already applied for exemption from the gun ban.
The proliferation of firearms during the election period has been linked to election-related violence in the past.
Aba also confirmed that security personnel, such as those from the PNP, that are detailed to private individuals, will be recalled effective tomorrow.
Also, there is still no reshuffling of election officers in the province as there is no order from the poll body in Manila yet, Aba said.
The provincial Comelec is also preparing for the training of Board of Election Inspectors in February or March, he added.
The training is vital as the poll body will be using automated machines similar to the Precinct Count Optical Scan units used in the 2013 elections, he added.*JFP
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