The Commission on Elections has decided to automatically exempt several members of the judiciary, including the Ombudsman, from the ban on carrying firearms and other deadly weapons during the official 2022 election period, a poll official said Wednesday.
During the Commission en banc meeting, the poll body resolved to amend the resolution that set the guidelines for the 2022 gun ban to make the issuance of certificates of authority more efficient, Comelec chairman Saidamen Pangarungan said.
Under these amendments, justices, judges, and prosecutors, including the Ombudsman, are automatically exempted from the gun ban. Granting exemptions will also be decentralized to Comelec regional directors and election officers to fast-track the process.
The Comelec gave the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns one week to finetune and finalize the proposed amendments and to ensure that regional directors and election officers are capable of granting permits.
During the election gun ban period from Jan. 9 to June 8, 2022, no person will be allowed to do the following unless authorized by the Comelec:
- Bear, carry, or transport firearms or deadly weapons outside his or her residence or place of business, in all public places, even if he or she has a license.
- Employ, avail or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, regardless if they are from the PNP, AFP, and other law enforcement agencies of the government or private security service.
- Transport and deliver firearms, ammunition, explosives, and their components.
Persons found guilty of bearing, carrying or transporting firearms, or engaging security services during the election gun ban without a certificate of authority will be punished with a jail sentence of one to six years without probation. They will also be disqualified from holding public office and from voting in the elections.