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Gun ban exemptions in May 2013 polls will be extended for Barangay, SK elections this year
The online news portal of TV5

Those given gun ban exemptions in the May 2013 elections no longer need to apply for new ones for the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday. 

In Resolution 9735, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) agreed to extend the validity of the gun ban exemptions for May 2013 for the coming elections.

“Gun ban exemptions issued in connection with the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections shall be recognized as valid for purposes of the October 28, 2013 synchronized barangay and SK elections,” the resolution stated. Previously, Resolution No. 9608 allowed several officials including President Benigno Aquino III and Vice-President Jejomar Binay to enjoy exemptions from the gun ban. 

The resolution also gave exemptions to senators who were not seeking re-election, Cabinet secretaries; the Chief Public Attorney; chairperson and commissioners of the Commission on Human Rights and Constitutional Commission; the Ombudsman, Deputy Ombudsman, and investigators and prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman and Solicitor General. 

The Secretary of the Department of Justice, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Prosecutor General, Chief State Prosecutor and State, Regional, Provincial and City Prosecutors of the Department of Justice; Secretary, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries and the internal security of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government; Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, Law and Investigation Divison and Intelligence Division of the Bureau of Immigration; Bureau of Corrections, Provincial and City jails and regular officers, members and agents of agencies who are performing law enforcement and/or security functions. 

Those not in the list but wished to be exempted from the firearm restriction were allowed to have security escorts instead.

However, those who managed to avail of body guards in May will have to apply again for renewal.

The gun ban will begin on September 28, when the Philippines will be officially placed under the election period. 

Those found guilty of violating the gun ban--an election offense--will face imprisonment of up to six years, disqualification from public office, and deprivation of the right to vote.