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January 14 is the start of COMELEC gun ban

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 12, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Commission on Elections announced that the election gun ban will start on January 14 and will last till June 13, 2007.

The gun ban is being imposed in order to curb political violence during the election season, the Commission on Election officials in the Region informed.

COMELEC said that violence usually escalates during the election season. It could be recalled that during the last election, a mayoralty candidate in Hindang, Leyte was killed. Recent killings include that of the assassination of Congressman Bersamin of Abra which was believed to be politically motivated.

During the election ban, politicians and their personal securities are not allowed to carry firearms. If needed, police securities may be assigned to them, the COMELEC said.

The gun ban excludes the law enforcement community and the military. However these peacekeeping forces are required to be in uniform when carrying their service firearms.

Security agencies which are tasked of guarding the transport of money to and from the bank are required to apply for exemption from the ban from COMELEC.

The public is encouraged to be vigilant and help insure peace and security during the election season by reporting violations to the gun ban to the COMELEC.

Those concerned are also called upon to adhere to the election gun ban.

Furthermore, COMELEC informed that it is ready already for the filing of candidacies for the senatorial seats which will start on January 15 up to February 12 and up to March 29 for the filing of the application for candidacy for the congressional and local positions.

The prospective senatorial candidates are required to file their certificate of candidacies at the COMELEC Central Office. The prospective congressional candidates are required to file their candidacies at the COMELEC provincial offices in their respective areas while the local candidates may file their certificate of candidacies at their respective municipal COMELEC offices.