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Comelec to study PNP gun ban proposal

Posted on: March 23, 2009

Comelec to study PNP gun ban proposal

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:58:00 03/23/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Police

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) would look into the proposed total gun ban in upcoming 2010 elections, an official said Monday.

Comelec commissioner Rene Sarmiento told INQUIRER.net the poll body would study the provisions of the proposal raised by Chief Superintendent Josefino Cataluña, chief of Philippine National Police-Police Security & Protection Group (PSPG).

Cataluña proposed for a total gun ban and that only policemen and security escorts wearing proper uniform would be allowed to carry guns.

Sarmiento said the “total gun ban” should not be the term used since in previous elections there were exemptions for men on duty and men in uniform, such as security personnel and escorts to political figures and private individuals.

But Sarmiento said that the proposal requiring security personnel to be in uniform is reasonable.

“A ‘total’ gun ban is difficult to impose since there are threats to security especially during elections, so there should be a qualified gun ban,” Sarmiento said.

Members of the PNP and other units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines act as deputies and assistants to the Comelec in ensuring safety and security of elections.

Sarmiento said a list of the names of the security personnel exempted from the gun ban is given to the Comelec.

Comelec would establish a committee on firearm/security personnel along with other committees essential for the management of the upcoming 2010 elections after the winning bidder for the automation budget is awarded on May 22, added Sarmiento.

Sarmeinto said the Comelec en banc would also study if the memorandum of understanding signed by the PNP and Comelec for the deployment of security personnel in the May 2007 elections could be revised in case there are new concerns.

In a 2007 agreement, the Committee on Firearms and Security Personnel determined whether or not an applicant for exemption could be authorized to bear firearms.

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