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Comelec bans armed bodyguards for 2010 candidates

Posted on: December 18, 2009

Comelec bans armed bodyguards for 2010 candidates

By Kristine L. Alave, Anna Valmero
Philippine Daily Inquirer, INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:56:00 12/17/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) The Commission on Elections (Comelec) would prohibit any person or guards of candidates to carry firearms during the election period next year, a spokesman said Thursday.

In a resolution filed December 16, Comelec ruled that “no person shall carry firearms in public places and no candidate for public office, including incumbent officials shall avail of services of security personnel or body guards, whether the body guards are regular members or personnel of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agency, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

“We will prohibit anyone from carrying or transporting firearms and candidates cannot hire armed security during the election period beginning January 10 to June 9, 2010 unless otherwise determined necessary by Comelec. Only persons in the regular plantillia of the PNP or AFP whose names and firearms’ description have been submitted to and approved by the Comelec are authorized to bear, carry and transport firearms during the election period,” said Jimenez.

Persons or police officers not wearing the authorized uniforms for security duties shall be presumed unauthorized to carry firearms and can be arrested, said the Comelec resolution.

Any candidate who wants to avail of security services should file a written application to Comelec stating his name and residence, public office he seeks to be elected and reasons for the application.

Heads of other law enforcement agencies and protective agents of the private detective agencies duly authorized by PNP, shall submit on or before December 29 the pictures, description and authorized uniform of office of their personnel, to the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBSFP), added Jimenez.

The CBSFP will submit starting February 2010 a monthly report monitoring the implementation of the gun ban together with the current status of enforcement—the number of confiscated firearms both licensed or not and the persons involved; and the peace and order situation in the country including insurgency, existence of private armies and intensity of political rivalries that might affect the conduct of elections.

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