Jan 312013

With the campaign period about to start and with the spate of gun-related crimes, Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. wants to know if the implementation of the election gun ban has been effective. 

On Thursday, Brillantes said he plans to meet with National Police chief Alan Purisima to “get statistics before the start of the campaign period.”

“Yun ang concern namin, kung nagkaroon ba ng effect yung checkpoints at gun ban. So before January 13 (when the gun ban was implemented), ano ba statistics dyan compared to now?” Brillantes told reporters.

The poll chief said the meeting would most likely be this Saturday when Comelec holds a mock elections at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The campaign period for national candidates starts February 12. On the other hand, the campaign period for local candidates starts March 30. 

Growing crime rate

During the same interview, Brillantes said a growing crime rate is everybody’s concern whether it is election period or not.

“Kasi may nagsasabi na naha-highlight ito dahil may gun ban at may checkpoints. Pero sa akin, it does not matter what is highlighted or not,” he said.

Asked if the poll body is planning to amend its gun ban resolution because of the recent incidents, Brillantes said there is no plan yet but they will definitely look into the statistics.

“We will have to wait for actual statistics. Wala naman kaming empirical record dito to determine kung ano ang tama kaya lang naha-highlight dahil may gun ban at saka checkpoint. Parang dumadami pa,” he said.

The gun ban started January 13. From that time and until the end of the election period on June 12, firearms are no longer allowed to be brought outside one’s residence and Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFORs) are suspended.

Only law enforcement authorities, including members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Bureau of Investigation, who are in uniform and on duty, are allowed to carry firearms outside their residences.

He also said that as of Sunday, that there have only been 37 shooting incidents this month. In January last year, when there was no gun ban, the PNP recorded around 853 shooting incidents.

As of Tuesday, 281 people have been arrested for violating the gun ban.

Some of the recent gun-related incidents are:

On January 26, armed men fired shots during a robbery at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, causing panic among mall goers.

On Monday, an unidentified gunman shot dead a businessman in San Juan City, shortly after the victim withdrew a large amount of money from a nearby bank.

Meanwhile, six armed men robbed a money transfer service outlet in Parañaque City on Tuesday and escaped after shooting it out with police, taking P60,000 with them. — RSJ, GMA News

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