Press Release
January 6, 2010

Total gun ban a joke - Gordon

Senator Richard J. Gordon has called on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to clarify the total gun ban that the commission will implement, starting this month, for the May presidential elections.

Gordon, speaking at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel last Monday, said there is a total gun ban implemented only in words which accounts for the incidents of killings with guns every election period.

"Kung magkakaroon ng gun ban, dapat linawin natin iyan sapagkat ang totoo niyan, may gun ban sa salita. Sa akin, that's a joke yung gun ban," he said.

"Kung lahat pare-parehong walang baril, make sure that the law enforcement run after those who have guns sapagkat mangyayari pa rin iyan (election-related killings)," he added.

The Comelec will implement, from January 10 to June 9, 2010, total gun ban prohibiting private individuals from carrying firearms and allowing only two security personnel for each candidate.

"No person shall bear, carry or transport licensed or unregistered firearms or deadly weapons in public except for the regular plantilla of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), other government law enforcement units and private security agencies duly authorized by the PNP and hired security personnel of candidates who were enlisted with Comelec," Comelec Resolution 8714 stated.

Despite the implementation of a total gun ban in the May 2007 mid-term elections, international observers were able to get reports of 128 election-related killings and over 200 other incidents of violence since the official start of the campaign period to election day when ten people were killed.

Gordon pointed out that if the Comelec is bent on implementing a total gun ban, it would be better if they announce the names of persons who were issued gun ban exemptions.

"Mabuti pa sabihin nila, 'Ito may permit.' Ilabas nila ang may permit para alam ng tao kung sino ang may permit ang baril. Mas maganda pa iyon," he said.

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