MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday reminded the public to abide by the gun ban being implemented in the country while the bill postponing the October 23 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections has yet to be signed.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez warned that they will strictly enforce the ban on the bearing, carrying and transport of firearms and other deadly weapons during the election period from October 1 to 30.

“Considering that there is no official postponement yet of the October 23, 2017 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, the Comelec is duty-bound to strictly implement the firearms ban,” he said in a statement.

He said checkpoints have been established across the country to enforce the prohibition.

At the same time, Jimenez reminded responsible and qualified gun owners to apply for exemption from the poll body.

He added that violations of the gun ban is an election offense punishable with one (1) to six (6) years imprisonment that shall not be subject to probation, disqualification to hold public office and the depravation of one’s right to suffrage.

To avoid penalties, the poll body official advised gun owners including public officials, law enforcement and government/foreign security personnel and other qualified individuals who are considered “high risk” because of the nature of their official duties, profession, business or occupation, to apply for authority to bear, carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons from the Comelec.
Based on Comelec data, a total of nine people have already been apprehended since the start of implementation of the gun ban on Oct. 1.

They include three in Central Visayas, three in Western Visayas, two in Ilocos Region, and one in Calabarzon. (PNA)