SC: Comelec can issue gun ban rules
The Supreme Court has affirmed the power of the Commission on Elections to issue rules and regulations to implement the gun ban during election period.
In a decision written by Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the SC upheld the validity of the Comelec regulation that the gun ban covers even members of the private security service providers and private security agencies.
It also ruled that the Comelec has the authority to require a written permit – even from PSSPs and PSAs members – to bear, carry, and transport firearms or dangerous weapons outside of one’s residence or place or work or in any public place during election period.
With its decision, the SC denied for lack of merit the petition filed by Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators Region 7 Chapter which sought to declare as unconstitutional Section 2(e), Rule 3 of Comelec Resolution No. 10015 which provided for the rules and regulations on the gun ban during the 2016 local and national elections.
PADPAO is an association of licensed security agencies and company security forces in Region 7 under Republic Act No. 54873 or the Private Security Agency Law.
It assailed in its petition Section 2 (e) of Comelec Resolution No. 10015 that provides for documentary requirements for the application for authority to possess and carry firearms and deadly weapons during the election period.
It claimed that the Comelec has no authority to promulgate rules regarding the bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms by PSAs and that PSAs should not be required to secure authority since RA 5487 already grants to PSAs and their security, guards, watchmen, detectives, and security personnel the authority to possess, bear, carry, and transport firearms, being necessary equipment for the conduct of its business and practice of its personnel’s profession.