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Police, military map out security for midterm polls

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By Ivy Tejano

DAVAO CITY – The police and military in Davao region have mapped out measures to ensure a peaceful and orderly mid-term elections this year, with the start of the poll period on January 19.

Though the election period is still to officially start on January 13, Sunday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) will start implementing a gun ban on January 10, Thursday, according to Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson Chief Insp. Jason Baria in a joint AFP-PNP press conference at The Royal Mandaya Hotel.

In line with the election gun ban, Baria said, legitimate holders of firearms with permits-to-carry (PTCs) still need to seek gun ban exemption from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to be able to take their weapons outside their homes.

“During the election period, no person shall carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons anywhere—may it be a private or public establishment—even if the person has the license to carry. They can only carry their firearms unless authorised by the Comelec,” Baria said.

He added that only members of the PNP and AFP, under the supervision of the Comelec, will be allowed to carry firearms during the election period.

It is stated in a Comelec resolution that members of the PNP, AFP, and other law enforcement agencies can only carry guns when in uniform or during the performance of their duties.

Comelec Resolution No. 10446 stipulates that those who seek exemption from the gun ban and other prohibited acts could apply for a certificate of authority with the poll body.

Army’s 10th Infantry Division spokesperson Captain Jerry Lamosao also said that those who need police personnel for security will have to seek authority from the Comelec.

Lamosao said the police and military in the region have joined forces in securing a peaceful and orderly election. He added that for the military, those who defies the law will have to face consequences.

A joint deployment has been arranged in every municipality or city in the Davao region. Any untoward incident in their respective areas will be a joint operation for the military and police. There will also be a 24/7 checkpoint.

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