Gun ban covers Marawi despite village polls suspension: Comelec

MANILA The gun ban for the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections covers Marawi City despite the suspension of the conduct of the polls there, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez noted that the election period, which started last April 14, is in effect in the war-torn city.

Gun ban and checkpoints are being enforced in Marawi and the whole Mindanao, he said in an interview.

The village and youth polls have been postponed in Marawi City which is still reeling from the effect of the five-month battle between government forces and the Maute group.

The start of the election period also means the implementation of the gun ban and the establishment of Comelec checkpoints in the country.

Aside from the election period, Jimenez also said martial law remains in effect in the whole of Mindanao, including Marawi City.

(They are also implemented) pursuant to the adopted AFP-PNP Joint Operational Guidelines in the Implementation of Martial Law, he said.

Meanwhile, the poll body has adopted the checkpoints established by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in relation to the martial law implementiation.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10300, AFP checkpoints will now also be considered as Comelec checkpoints during the election period.

All checkpoints established by the AFP in Martial Law covered areas as identified to and with notice to the election officer having jurisdiction over the area shall be considered as Comelec checkpoints, according to the order.

It added that the said checkpoints shall also have signboards measuring 3 feet by 4 feet that will identify them as Comelec checkpoints.

The resolution also urged team leaders of the AFP-manned checkpoints to constantly coordinate with concerned election officers.

It said that the establishment of spot checkpoints is allowed when circumstances warrant it as long as due notice is given to the election officer within 12 hours from its establishment.

On the other hand, the poll body is also adopting the AFP-PNP joint operational guidelines in the implementation of martial law with regards to its provisions on the conduct of checkpoints and implementation of the gun ban.

Source: Philippine News Agency