AFTER President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Wednesday the postponement of barangay and youth elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) followed suit on the same day with a memorandum that ordered the suspension of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) “gun ban”.
In his directive, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista stated operational guidelines for the lifting of the gun ban and the dismantling of checkpoints in Luzon and the Visayas.
“Actually, we can say today that the gun ban is no longer effective,” PNP Deputy Spokesman Vimelle Madrid said in a press briefing.
Based on PNP data, 52 persons were arrested for “illegal possession of firearms” and 47 firearms were confiscated during the ban. Aside from firearms, police also seized 296 other “deadly weapons”, including grenades and explosives.
However, Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said the regular checkpoints to prevent crimes would stay.
Carlos clarified that those persons arrested during the gun ban would either face violation of the Omnibus Election Code or illegal possession of firearms.
“We will see what will be the legal process for them if the postponement takes effect,” Carlos said.