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Comelec: 1 more week to go before gun ban

The Commission on Elections on Sunday reminded gun owners they may have to leave their firearms at home starting next Sunday, as the gun ban for the May 2013 elections starts. Comelec spokesman James Arthur Jimenez also said the campaign period will start in February for those running for national posts, and in March for those seeking local posts. “Gun ban starts in seven days,” he said on his Twitter account. Earlier, Metro Manila police chief Director Leonardo Espina said the gun ban means no bringing of firearms by gun owners outside their residences. “Lahat na kababayan natin who were given licenses and Permits to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFORs) are suspended until June 12,” Espina said in an interview on dzBB radio. He said only law enforcement agency members who are in uniform and on duty will be allowed to carry firearms outside their residences. These include members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Bureau of Investigation, he said. Yet, he said even these law enforcers cannot carry firearms outside their residences if they are not on duty. As for bodyguards, he said they will be allowed to carry firearms only if allowed by the Commission on Elections. Campaign period Meanwhile, Jimenez reminded candidates and their supporters all prohibitions will take effect as the campaign period starts. “Once campaign period starts... posters outside common poster areas will be illegal; TV/radio ads will be restricted,” he said. He also said political ads should not be treated like regular commercials. “Their political dimension should inspire media to act in consonance with poll laws,” he said. Jimenez said the campaign period for national posts starts Feb. 12, and March 29 for those running for local posts. — LBG, GMA News