The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will start to deploy checkpoints in strategic areas of Puerto Princesa City and municipalities in the province of Palawan starting at 12 a.m. on Sunday, on the eve of the implementation of the nationwide gun ban.
The implementation of the gun ban is part of the election period which will run from January 9 to June 8, in connection with the coming May 9 national and local elections.
During the period, the carrying of firearms and deadly weapons outside of the residence, place of business, and all public places will be strictly prohibited.
The ban also covers engaging the services of security personnel, transport of firearms and explosives including its spare parts and components.
Personnel of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), high-risk individuals, security agencies, and companies engaged in selling or transporting firearms, are exempted from the gun ban.
Jomel Ordas, provincial COMELEC spokesperson however said they still have to apply for exemption in the Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC).
“Although exempted sila, kailangan pa rin nila mag-apply for exemption sa Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC), isang committee na binuo COMELEC para sa implementation ng gun ban at manguna sa pagsiguro ng peace at security sa election. Binuo ito ng designated ranking officer from COMELEC, AFP and PNP,” Ordas said.
Violators who will be caught will face a penalty of one to six years imprisonment; permanent disqualification from public office and loss of the right to vote; deportation for foreigners after prison term is served, and cancellation or perpetual disqualification to secure license or permit.
Ordas said during the election period, aside from the gun ban, other restrictions included are ban on transfer or detail of civil service employees, including PNP and AFP personnel; use of security personnel; and prohibition from the suspension of elective public officials.