Tacloban City – No one except state forces and private security personnel in official uniforms will be allowed to carry firearms when the election gun ban is implemented from January 10 to June 10.
The Philippine National Police stressed that all gun-wielding individuals in civilian attire will be arrested on the spot.
In a statement, PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa vowed to strictly implement the nationwide gun ban imposed by the Commission on Elections to lessen political violence in connection with the May 2010 elections.
It was learned that the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had signed a joint letter directive stipulating the policies, guidelines and procedures of law enforcement operations during the elections.
The joint PNP-AFP order established Joint Security Control Centers (JSCC) in national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels.
General Vezosa said that the general rule is that only persons in authority who are in proper uniform and in actual performance of official duties are allowed to carry firearms during the election period.
The PNP Director General also called on the military and law enforcement agencies to furnish the PNP and the Comelec with photographs of the authorized uniforms of their various units. The uniform, he said, must bear the name of the person wearing it and his or her rank or position.
The law enforcement and private security personnel should also carry their identification cards and mission orders at all times, General Vezosa said.
The PNP will also be recalling the police escorts of all government officials and private individuals anytime soon.
As earlier agreed upon by the PNP and Comelec, political candidates will only be allowed to keep two police escorts to insulate the bulk of the police force from partisan politics. (PIA 8)