Republic of the Philippines
Quezon City, Metro Manila

Third (3rd) Regular Session

House Bill No. 6873

Introduced by Hon. Pastor M. Alcover, Jr.


            This bill seeks to establish the class of people who must be exempted from any regulation issued by the COMELEC relative to the carrying or bearing of firearms during an election period regardless of whether such election is national, local, a plebiscite, referendum or a special election and to ensure that the maintenance of peace and order shall remain the sole responsibility of the PNP.
For so many election periods, it has become the practice of the COMELEC to issue a sweeping ban on the carrying of firearms outside of residence and every time the COMELEC does this, a number of perennial problems would also creep up.

            Foremost of these problems is the fact that every time there is a gun ban, only the responsible gun owners will abide by the ban but the criminals do not or, as aptly put in the famous saying, “when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.” This has really become a major problem because there is always a rise in criminality during a gun ban in view of the fact that criminals will take advantage of the situation wherein the responsible gun owners and even the law enforcement officers are rendered defenseless. The gun ban therefore only benefits the criminals and does not really contribute to the promotion of peace and order during an election period.

            Another major problem caused by a gun ban is that this has become the major source of corruption in the PNP and the COMELEC. It is a fact that every time there is a gun ban, the COMELEC will also provide for its exemption. However, this exemption will not automatically apply to those who will qualify for it. They have to apply first and pay some regulatory fees before they will get an exemption and this is where the problem comes in. Many gun owners especially those whose security are at risk and desperate to secure an exemption are willing to pay grease money to expedite their application and this, in return, encourages the unscrupulous PNP and COMELEC personnel involved in the issuance of the exemption to dangle this like a commodity before those who are desperate to get it and willing to pay extra money.
Another problem caused by the gun ban is that it is too sweeping and has become like a money making venture of the PNP and the COMELEC. This is demonstrated by the fact that the gun ban even covers those who, due to the nature of their job, are authorized by law to carry firearms. Among them are the security guards. Despite the nature of their job and regardless of the already existing law that prohibits them from carrying their firearms outside the area of their jurisdiction, they are not exempt from the gun ban and in order for them to continue doing their job, their security agency should secure a gun ban exemption and pay the corresponding fees. One can just imagine the number of Private Security Agencies all over the country that would be forced to apply for exemption.  Indeed, the gun ban has really become a money making venture of the PNP and the COMELEC. Another is those who are legitimate gun owners with valid license and permit to carry. The fact that they have been issued gun license and permit to carry is a clear showing that they are responsible gun owners because this presupposes that they have undergone thorough screening and many of them even have superior training in gun handling than our law enforcement officers because many of them are gun club members and have participated in shooting competitions. The government could even take advantage of their skills as force multiplier by deputizing them during election period. However, despite the fact that they have already paid a significant amount of money to secure there license and permit to carry, they are still covered by the gun ban. And in order to be exempt, they will have to apply and pay another regulatory fee. Truly, the gun ban has become a money making venture of the PNP and the COMELEC. And last but not the least is the elected officials. It is a sad fact that violence has become a part of the Philippine politics and the elected officials are the ones who are mostly at risk and despite this, they are not exempt from the gun ban. They still have to apply and pay the corresponding fees. Considering that almost all elected officials in the country need personal protection, the PNP and the COMELEC can generate a huge amount of money from them alone. Again, another demonstration that the gun ban has become a money making venture of the PNP and the COMELEC.

In has indeed been shown time and again that the gun ban tends to wreak havoc instead of helping promote peace and order during election periods and to avert any further destruction that it may cause, approval of this bill is earnestly sought.

                                                                          HON. PASTOR M. ALCOVER, JR.
                                                                             Representative, ANAD Party list 


Republic of the Philippines
Quezon City, Metro Manila

Third (3rd) Regular Session

House Bill No.6873

Introduced by Hon. Pastor M. Alcover, Jr.


Be enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress Assembled:

Section 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Gun Ban Exemption Act of 2013.”

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared the policy of the State to ensure that peace and order shall reign during an election period and that all peace loving and law abiding citizens are protected from any form of violence, intimidation, terrorism or criminality.

Toward this end, the State shall ensure that the maintenance of peace and order during election periods shall be entrusted only to the Philippine National Police which is the agency that has the specialty, proper resources and legal mandate to maintain peace and order.

Section 3. Definition. –

a.) COMELEC, under this Act refers to the Commission on Elections.

b.) Gun Ban, under this Act refers to any rules, regulations, resolutions or guidelines issued by the COMELEC that prohibits and penalize the carrying of firearms outside of residence during an election period.

c.) PNP, under this Act refers to the Philippine National Police.

Section 4. Coverage. – This Act shall cover all kinds of election, whether national or local, a special election, an initiative, referendum or plebiscite, where there is a Gun Ban.

Section 5. Duty of the COMELEC and the PNP. – During an election period, the duty of the COMELEC shall be limited to enforcement and administration of all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of the election and the maintenance of peace and order and to ensure that the conduct of the election is free from any form of violence, intimidation or terrorism shall be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the PNP.

Section 6. Class of Persons Exempt from Gun Ban. – The following class of persons shall be exempt from and shall not be covered by the Gun Ban during an election period:

  1. Regular Uniformed Officers and Members of the PNP;

  1. Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines;

  1. Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard;

  1. Officers and Members of the Bureau of jail Management and Penology;

  1. Officers, Members and Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation;

  1. Officers, Members and Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency;

  1. Regular Officers, Members and Agents of other Government Agencies who are actually performing law enforcement or security functions provided that they are regular plantilla of the said agencies and wear their prescribed uniforms showing clearly their name, rank and serial number or, in case rank and serial number are inapplicable, their agency-issued identification card showing clearly their name and position while they are on duty and when they are off duty, they shall carry with them valid and unexpired gun license, permit to carry or mission order or letter order;

  1. Members of privately-owned or operated security, investigative or protective agencies provided, however, that they can only carry firearms while in actual in actual performance of duty at their specified place or area of duty, must wear their agency prescribed uniform, in possession of a valid license to Exercise Security Profession and valid firearms license of the agency where they are employed and deployed by Private Security Agency duly licensed by the PNP;

  1. Members of the Judiciary;

  1. All elected Public officials; and
  2. Any person who is a bona fide holder of a valid and unexpired gun license and permit to carry.

Section 7. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, executive orders, letters of instruction, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Act, are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 8. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the official gazette or in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.



Army Troops on Security and Rehabilitation Operation Landmined by NPA; One killed, 10 others wounded

Mati City – Peace and Development Teams of 28IB onboard two military vehicles led by 2LT Paypa were hit by a landmine at Sitio Mainit, Brgy. Calapagan, Lupon, Davao Oriental at 12:20 midnight of January 22, 2013.

The said team was on convoy, drifting their way back to headquarters from security and rehabilitation operation of the typhoon Pablo as landmine exploded hitting the rear portion of the second vehicle. Six were wounded and immediately brought to the Provincial Hospital, as one soldier did not make it. Pfc Jhasam Diaz died while being treated in the hospital. Moreover the rest of the injured were being treated now at Tagum Regional Hospital and Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital, Mati City.

“The army troops were part of the security of troops rendering rehabilitations to typhoon Pablo affected areas. The NPAs again showed their barbarism and inhuman acts by disturbing our humanitarian assistance activities” LTC Lyndon Paniza, 10ID spokesman.

“This is a clear manifestation that the New People’s Army violate and does not respect the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), landmine is strictly prohibited in this agreement. The NPAs are very desperate and ignored the provisions of CARHRIHL”. Paniza added.

Meanwhile two clashes happened between the army’s 60th Infantry Batalion and NPAs in Brgy. Mabuhay, Laak Compostela Valley at 2pm and 3:30pm yesterday. The army troops were on rescue operation on recent abduction by the NPAs of 1 soldier and policeman last January 17, 2013.

As investigation continues, the AFP persists to chase the bandits believed to be guilty on the incident.    


NPAs Continue Terrorizing the People in Davao City

Malagos, Davao City – At least 14 individuals including civilians and CAFGUs were restrained against their free will by the New People’s Army in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City since December 23, 2012 until today.
There were 11 residents of Barangay Tambobong from different sitios were held captives and intimidated by the armed rebel group led by a certain Ka Bobby who continues to sow terror in the said district even during the yuletide season and while their ceasefire is supposed to be in effect. 
Based on reports coming from the residents, an estimated number of 140 NPAs stayed in the barangay to conduct recruitment, intimidation and kidnapping.
At around 5:30am on December 30, 2012, two CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) members namely:  CAA Artemio Sitoy and CAA Romeo Bulod both residents of Sitio Mangas-As of said barangay were forcefully taken for interrogation and held captive for almost 12 hours. 
During interview, the victims narrated that the NPAs asked them for names of all the CAFGU members and civilian military supporters residing in the barangay to be coerced to cease from supporting the Philippine Army and the Philippine Government . 
The victims recounted that they were pinpointed by the new NPA recruits who are also residents of the place.
Another kidnapping incident perpetrated by the same group transpired last December 31, 2012 with victims identified as a certain Jun Lopez, Junjun Alonzo and Tata Pandian who are all civilians and residents of Sitio Luyan.
According to the victims, one of the residents of the same barangay believed to be a supporter of the rebel group told them that they have an issue to be settled with the NPA and they are accounted to answer some questions.
Alarmed and terrorized, the victims tried to evade the NPAs but were chances upon by the bandits while on their way to the neighboring sitio of said barangay. 
Their ordeal at the hands of the NPAs doing interrogation started at around 5:30 in the morning and finished at around 3:30 in the afternoon. 
According to the victims, the group is composed of around 70 armed men and women conducting medical mission-like activity at the sitio.
At around 4:00 in the afternoon of same day, another CAFGU identified as CAA Tony Pandian was also abducted and then freed by the rebel group after answering some questions. 
According to one of the civilian victims, CAA Pandian was told by Ka Bobby to leave the military service as CAA or his son would be taken by the NPA to join the armed revolution.
Some witnesses said that the group went to CAA Pandian’s house twice and that they were really ardent in talking to him.
Aside from the ensuing incidents of abduction in Barangay Tambobong, seven other residents kidnapped by the NPAs and coerced them to join the illegal armed group. Four of them were identified as a certain Toto Belarmiya, Adonis Belarmiya, Elmer Amad and Toto Duyan were all taken before the NPA Anniversary Celebration last December 26, 2012. All of them were residents of Sitio Laputan of said barangay.  
Last December 31, 2012, three more civilians were captured and were forced to join the NPAs identified as Boyet Duyan and Joel Espina of Upper Tambobong and Lower Luyan of the same barangay and a certain Junjun Ogao, not from  Barangay Tambobong but identified as the grandson of the late Datu Causing Ogao who was killed by the NPA last July 2012.
Another resident of  Barangay Tambobong named Boy Betil was also abducted by the NPAs last December 23, 2012 at Sitio Sayawan, Brgy. Salaysay, Marilog District, Davao City for suspicion of being a military informant. 
Some witnesses said the victim was tortured, immersed in Tuli River and believed to be still in the hands of the rebel group. Until now, no one knows the whereabouts of Boy Betil. 
The kidnapping incidents and the presence of the New People’s Army in Barangay Tambobong clearly prevented the observance and celebration of the community of the Yuletide Season and of the New Year. 
Most of the rebels stayed overnight at the residents houses even they were not welcomed by the local populace. 
Some of the families even left their houses and evacuated at nearby sitios and barangay because they were frightened of the presence of the NPA at their houses. Several residents opted not to go home for the celebration of New Year with their families upon knowing the presence of the rebel group.
“We see how inhumane the NPAs are. They do not abide in their self proclaimed ceasefire, they do not stand with the peace truce that they have with the government – in which they have even asked for its extension – and worse, they did not let the people celebrate New Year. They intimidated and threatened the people not minding what the occasion is. They had been violating CARHRIHL and the Suspension of Military Operation. I would like to call on everybody specially the government officials to condemn such monstrous acts of the New People’s Army and to help the people of Barangay Tambobong.” said by LTC Nigos, Commanding Officer of 84IB.
On another development, GPH Panel Chairman Alex Padilla, through panel member Ednar Dayanghirang, confirmed that the NDFP shortened the bilateral ceasefire to 02 January 2013 (yesterday) instead of 15 January 2013 as it announced the allege AFP violation of the ceasefire and insinuated that NPA may launch Tactical offensives. 
It may be noted that the NDFP earlier declared that they consider AFP's "Civil-Mil Operations" and "peace and development" activities as "offensive military operations".