|PNP VOWS STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF NATIONWIDE ELECTION GUNBAN|
All Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) issued by the Philippine National Police will be suspended from January 10, 2010 to June 9, 2010 when the Comelec-imposed nationwide gunban takes effect as part of security measures for the May 2010 national elections. PNP Chief, Director General Jesus A Verzosa said all guncarrying privileges by virtue of PTCFORs are suspended for the entire duration of the election period.
Verzosa said all authority granting police security detail to government officials, VIPs and other private individuals under threat are also revoked. "Only PNP, AFP, NBI personnel and Protective Agents of PDA (Private Detective Agencies) shall be deputized as security detail during the election period provided that these personnel shall be in proper uniform and in the actual performance of official security duties," Verzosa said. All security detail are subject to approval of the Comelec Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP).
Verzosa said the PNP will strictly implement the nationwide gunban in all regions of the country including prohibitions on the employment of security personnel. The Chief PNP emphasized that only bonafide personnel of the PNP, AFP and government law enforcement agencies in proper uniform and in the actual performance of duty are authorized to carry firearms during the effectivity of the nationwide gunban.
Verzosa said "only regular plantilla members of PNP, AFP, and other law enforcement agencies (who are receiving regular compensation for services rendered) are authorized to bear, carry and transport firearms while in prescribed uniform showing clearly and legibly the name, rank, serial number, or in case rank and serial number are inapplicable, the agency-issued identification card showing clearly the name and position (ID card shall remain visible at all times), with valid mission or letter orders, and in the actual performance of official duty or going to or returning from his residence or station."
He explained that issued firearms of Security Guards shall be left or deposited in their respective posts when off duty. The general rule is that only persons in authority who are in proper uniform and in actual performance of official duty are allowed to carry firearms during the election period, Verzosa said.
All persons with firearms while in civilian attire are presumed to be unauthorized and will therefore be arrested on the spot, the Chief PNP said.
Non-compliance of the concerned agencies of this requirement is presumed that the agency has waived the privelege to bear firearms while in uniform. Thus, they are subject to arrest for violation of the gunban, Verzosa explained.
According to PNP Spokesman, Chief Superintendent Leonardo A Espina, the PNP and AFP have issued a Joint Letter Directive providing for the general policies, guidelines and procedures to be undertaken by the PNP and AFP in conducting law enforcement operations in connection with the 2010 national elections.
The Joint Letter Directive specifically provides for the establishment of Joint Security Control Centers (JSCC) in the national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels to ensure effective coordination of police and military election security operations, Espina said.
The JSCCs, chaired by the concerned Comelec officers are tasked to implement the nationwide Firearms ban and the provision on security detail. Their contact numbers will be published for the information of the public, Espina added.
JSCC checkpoints supervised by Comelec representatives will be put-up in strategic locations to strictly enforce the nationwide prohibition on firearms and unauthorized security personnel. Aside from weapons check operations, these checkpoints will also be on alert for any violation of Comelec regulations on the employment of unauthorized armed bodyguards and close-in security personnel by candidates. Teams from the PNP Highway Patrol Group will also join the Comelec-JSCC checkpoint to be on the lookout for vehicle-related violations such as unauthorized security convoy, illegal use of police blinkers and siren, and other violations of the Land Transportation Code and special laws involving motor vehicles, the PNP Spokesman said.
PNP News No. 10-0102