Poll body exempts Cafgu militias from gun ban
Posted January 14, 2010on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 10:12:00 01/14/2010
Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Security (general)
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has exempted several militias from the total gun ban including civilian armed forces geographical units (Cafgus).
In Comelec Resolution 8742 promulgated on January 11, the poll body also exempted Presidential Security Group (PSG) members, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) members, the treasurer of the Philippines, deputy treasurers, and members of the internal security division of the Bureau of the Treasury (BT) from the gun ban.
Also exempted from the gun ban are members of the security personnel of accredited foreign diplomatic corps and establishments, as well as foreign military personnel in the Philippines covered by existing treaties and international agreements.
“We included the Cafgus, PSG, and these other groups because they are under the AFP and PNP. However, for them to be exempted their names and firearms must be included in the roster that AFP or PNP would submit to us for application for exemption. They must also satisfy the requirements and guidelines we issued earlier,” said Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, who heads the Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP).
Tagle said members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other law enforcement agencies to be exempted from gun ban must also wear the prescribed uniform, as well as bring along their identification card, license to possess firearms outside the residence, and a valid mission order, while on duty as security personnel for candidates.
In its resolution, Comelec also said applicants for exemption from the gun ban who currently being protected and secured by the police, the military, and other law enforcement agencies and security agencies, shall be issued 30-day Temporary Security Detail (TSD) upon filing of applications and submission of existing threat assessments.
Under the PNP-AFP joint operational guidelines for the 2010 elections drafted together with the Comelec, only candidates for positions of mayor up to president can avail of at least one security personnel from PNP and AFP. Candidates for lower positions can avail of personnel from protective and security agencies, Tagle added.
As part of the gun ban, previously issued permits to private individuals are deemed suspended during the election period from January 9 to June 9.
The sale, transport, or delivery of firearms and spare parts shall be made by the authorized dealer directly to the address of the buyer within 24 hours, and only with prior Comelec authorization.
Tagle again urged gun owners individuals to refrain from carrying firearms, saying that they can be arrested for election violation and may be jailed for up to six years if found guilty.