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3 govt officials among 48 arrested violators of gun ban

Authorities have netted 48 violators - among them three public officials - of the nationwide gun ban during the first 24 hours of its implementation, a police spokesman said Monday. Aside from the three government officials, those arrested included five cops, four military personnel and 36 civilians, Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said in a statement. The statement did not identify the three arrested public officials. Violation of the gun ban is an election offense that entails a punishment of six months to one year imprisonment, but a GMA Flash report said the arrested violators would not be immediately jailed as they would still undergo proper investigation. Seized from the violators were 50 high- and low-caliber firearms, three bladed weapons, and one grenade, said Police Director Andres G Caro II, the PNP director for operations. Since the start of the implementation last Sunday, the PNP said 14 gun ban violations were recorded in the Calabarzon region, nine in Metro Manila, and eight in Western Visayas. This page requires a higher version browser
Three cases were also recorded in the Bicol Region, while two each in Soccsargen and Caraga Regions. The regions of Eastern Visayas, Southern Mindanao, Western Mindanao and ARMM, meanwhile, recorded one case each. About 3,500 checkpoints have been established for the gun ban's effective implementation. A total gun ban is implemented nationwide 120 days before the actual date of the elections and 30 days after it. The Flash report quoted Espina as saying that the ban was aimed to thwart possible election related violence that were rampant in the previous years. Aside from the regular firearms and deadly weapons, also covered by the gun ban are air guns and replications, as well as bladed instruments, hand grenades, and other explosives except for fireworks. Under Commission on Elections Resolution No. 8714, only bona fide police and military personnel clad in proper uniforms are exempted from the nationwide gun ban. Sale of firearms, however, is not prohibited, but the purchased gun should be deposited to the PNP depository while the gun ban is in effect, according to Comelec guidelines. - with Benjie Liwanag/KBK/RSJ, GMANews.TV