Police checkpoints will be set up across Bohol as part of the implementation of the nationwide gun ban which was imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday, marking the official start of the 150-day election period.
According to Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) spokesman Thomas Zen Cheung, all police stations in the province have been directed to set up daily checkpoints, which will be manned by cops and Comelec personnel.
“Ang per municipal police station required sila na mo conduct og checkpoint everyday so discretion sa chief of police kung unsa sila orasa mo conduct og checkpoint kay magbase pud na sila sa ilang kauban na mga Comelec officer,” said Cheung.
So far, there have been no recorded violations in Bohol against the nationwide gun ban, which will last until June 8, a month after the May 9 general elections.
He added that Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) soldiers will also be deployed in checkpoints established in areas deemed “high-risk.”
Cheung explained that the Comelec suspended all firearms licenses and permits to carry firearms outside of residence during the election period.
He said that only law enforcement officers deputized through a certificate of authority from the Comelec are permitted to carry such firearms.
“You need to secure a certificate of authority from the Comelec na you are authorized to carry a firearm. Kung wala kay dala na certificate, sigurado mahog g’yud ka og illegal possession of firearms bisan pa og lisensyado ka kay under man ta sa Comelec karon,” said Cheung.
The certificates may be issued to uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police, AFP, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, National Bureau of Investigation, Presidential Security Group and other security details of high-risk government officials.
Meanwhile, only police officers wearing their uniforms and are on duty are allowed to carry their firearms.
Cheung said that cops conducting surveillance or intelligence operations are allowed to be armed even while wearing civilian clothes.
“There are exemptions to the rule that may allow police to carry or transport firearms without wearing the prescribed uniform kung naka civilian sila it should be that they are conducting intelligence operations or counter-intelligence gathering activities,” said Cheung. (A. Doydora)