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PNP: Quarantine control points to double as election checkpoints



The National Police will be using quarantine and border control points originally set up to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 as checkpoints to enforce election regulations, including the gun ban.

Col. Roderick Augustus Alba, PNP spokesperson, made the announcement as lawmen geared up for the start of the election period at 12 a.m. Sunday.

“Wherever necessary, these checkpoints may be co-located with existing quarantine and border control points in areas under COVID Alert Level 3 or higher,” Alba said.

Policemen, along with personnel of the Commission on Elections, Armed Forces, and other law enforcement agencies deployed to the checkpoints, will implement weapons checks and operations against loose firearms, deadly weapons, unauthorized security personnel, and private armed groups, criminal elements, and wanted persons, he said.

Starting Sunday, all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) issued to licensed firearm holders, juridical entities, and members of government law enforcement agencies.

Also suspended are permits issued by the PNP to transport firearms, ammunition, explosives, public firearms display, and exhibits, as well as employment of security personnel for VIPs.

These measures will be implemented for 150 days, or until June 8, with only bonafide police, military, and members of government law enforcement agencies in complete uniform and on official duty allowed to bear firearms, “as a general rule,” Alba said.

Exemptions may only be secured from the COMELEC Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns, he noted.

Alba reminded firearm owners that violating the gun ban is punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation.

Those who will be found guilty shall also suffer disqualification to hold public office, deprivation of the right of suffrage, and cancellation or perpetual disqualification from securing gun licenses or permits, he said.

“Even with the prevailing national health emergency the PNP, in coordination with the AFP and Coast Guard, will deploy sufficient forces to ensure that the 2022 National and Local Elections will be peaceful, safe, and secure.”

Vital installations, economic key points, and other places of convergence will also be protected, said Alba.