Cebu poll offices start accepting applications for gun ban exemption

CEBU CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) — Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices in Cebu have started accepting applications for exemption from the gun ban for the 2016 elections which will be imposed starting Jan. 10, an official said.

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said the gun ban will end on June 8, 2016.

Castillano said under Comelec Resolution 10015, the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies are among the exempted groups.

But Castillano said they must be in proper uniform within their area of jurisdiction and in the performance of their duties.

He said other persons who are allowed to bear firearms or deadly weapons are the President, Vice President, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and Cabinet secretaries.

Also exempted from the gun ban are cashiers and disbursing officers who usually carry large sums of money or valuables and private security service providers or agencies.

Castillano said local officials — from provincial governor to members of Congress — will be allowed to have two police bodyguards and may add two, if justified.

The ban on deadly weapons also covers live bullets, knives, air guns and explosives.

But Castillano said those who use knives and other sharp objects in their professions, like butchers, fish vendors or farmers, are exempted.

Individuals who can apply for authority to carry firearms will have to complete the requirements in the Comelec resolution, including an application form.

The application form can be downloaded from www.comelec.gov.ph. (PNA)