THREE persons were arrested on the first day of the gun ban enforcement in Western Visayas, Jan 13, 2019.
At around 12:45 a.m. Sunday, Antonio Francisco, 45, of Barangay Canajaban, Calinog, was arrested at a checkpoint in Barangay Poblacion Centro, Calinog.
Members of the Calinog Police Station, together with the town’s Commission on Election (Comelec) officer, nabbed the suspect for carrying a caliber .38 pistol loaded with six ammunition.
The second arrest was made 1:30 a.m. at Barangay San Rafael, Dumalag, Capiz.
Gil Halang Jr., 45, of Barangay Nagba, Cuartero town, was allegedly brandishing a handgun while at a community dance in San Rafael village.
A group of teenagers told barangay tanods (watchmen) about a man who was holding a caliber .45 pistol.
Dumalag police officers arrested the suspect in a hot pursuit operation.
Recovered from Halang was a caliber .45 pistol (Armscor with Serial No. 927368), one magazine, and seven ammunition.
Meanwhile, at 12 p.m. of the same day, Djna Licera, 54, of Barangay Amamaros, Pototan, Iloilo was arrested in a buy-bust operation.
Members of Pototan Police Station and the Iloilo Police Provincial Office-Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (IPPO-PDEU) recovered from Licera seven sachets of suspected shabu, P100 marked money, and a caliber .45 pistol.
Last week, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) has been consistently reminding the public that the 2019 election gun ban will take effect from Jan. 13 until June 12.
During the period, it is prohibited to bear, carry or transport firearms, explosives or other deadly weapons.
Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, said that qualified individuals may, however, seek exemption by applying for the appropriate certificate of authority from the Comelec.
Any individual who wishes to be exempted from the ban must apply for appropriate Certificate of Authority at the Comelec Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBSFP) at the poll body’s main office in Intramuros, Manila until May 29, 2019.
During the gun ban period, deliveries of firearms, ammunition and explosives without proper certifications are also not allowed.
Bulalacao said that any permit to carry firearm/s outside one’s residence or place of business will be ineffective and without force and effect during the election period “unless properly covered by a Certificate of Authority.”
“Violation of the said prohibited act shall constitute an election offense. Uniformed personnel who will violate the same will face dismissal from the service,” Bulalaaco said.
He said that gun owners could be hauled to jail for one to six years if they would violate the gun ban.
Apart from imprisonment, violators would be barred from voting and from holding public office.