PHILIPPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said they will strictly enforce the Commission on Elections’ ban on the carrying of unauthorized weapons and employment of bodyguards starting Sunday until June 12 to ensure the holding of a safe, orderly and fair May 13 national and local elections.
The PNP chief said only members of the uniformed service who are in their official prescribed uniforms and in the actual performance of duty will be allowed to carry their firearms in public. Police will arrest anybody in civilian clothes who will be found carrying firearms during the period.
Starting this Sunday, all Permits-to-Carry-Firearms-Outside-of-Residence issued by the Office of the Chief PNP will automatically deemed as invalid until midnight of June 12.
A motor vehicle, water or air craft is also not considered a residence or place of business or extension hereof. Licensing of firearms will also cease during the period.
The PNP will also be enforcing the ban on the employment, availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards during the election period, although Albayalde said politicians with validated threats on their lives can still be provided security details in uniform.
The Omnibus Election Code says that during the election period, “no candidate for public office, including incumbent public officers seeking election to any public offices, shall employ, avail himself of or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, whether or not such bodyguards are regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or other law enforcement agency.”
However, the following officials are allowed to retain their security personnel or bodyguards: the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, Chairman and Commissioners of the Commission on Elections, Chief of Staff of the AFP and AFP Major Service Commanders, and Director Generals and Senior Officers of the PNP.
Senators, members of the House of Representatives and Provincial Governors, and Justices, Judges and Cabinet Secretaries, whose regular security complement have been provided by the PNP, AFP, NBI or other Government Law Enforcement Agencies for at least one (1) year at the time of the promulgation of this Resolution, may be allowed to retain the services of a maximum of two (2) of the currently detailed officers or members of said law enforcement government agencies.
When circumstances warrant, including but not limited to threats to their life and security, incumbent public officials whether elected or appointed, candidates for the May 13, 2019 national and local elections or his/her immediate family within the second degree of consanguinity and private individuals may also apply for police security during the period.