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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Who May Bear Arms During the Election Period?


Republic of the Philippines
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
Manila

RESOLUTION No. 8714
RULES AND REGULATIONS ON THE: (1) BEARING, CARRYING OR TRANSPORTING OF FIREARMS OR OTHER DEADLY WEAPONS, AVAILMENT OR ENGAGEMENT OF THE SERVICES OF SECURITY PERSONNEL OR BODYGUARDS, DURING THE ELECTION PERIOD FOR THE MAY 10, 2010 NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS

   
WHEREAS, Section 32 of Republic Act No. 7166 provides:

    “SEC. 32.  Who May Bear Firearms. – During the election period, no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to possess or carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Commission.  The issuance of firearms licenses shall be suspended during the election period.

    “Only regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the Government who are duly deputized in writing by the Commission for election duty may be authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period; Provided, That, when in the possession of firearms, the deputized law enforcement officer must be: (a) in full uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number, which shall remain visible at all times, and (b) in the actual performance of his election duty in the specific area designated by the Commission.”

WHEREAS, Section 33 of the same Act provides:

    SEC. 33.  Security Personnel and Bodyguards. – During the election period, no candidate for public office, including incumbent public officers seeking election to any public office, shall employ, avail himself of or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, whether or not such bodyguards are regular members or officers of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines or other law agency of the Government: Provided, That when circumstances warrant, including but not limited to threats to life and security of a candidate, he may be assigned by the Commission, upon due application, regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or other law enforcement agency who shall provide him security for the duration of the election period.  The officers assigned for security duty to a candidate shall be subject to the same requirement as to wearing of uniforms prescribed in the immediately preceding section unless exempted in writing by the Commission.

    “If at any time during the election period, the ground for which the authority to engage the services of security personnel has been granted shall cease to exist or for any other valid cause, the Commission shall revoke the said authority.”

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Commission to strictly enforce Sections 32 and 33 of Republic Act No. 7166;

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. Blg. 881), Republic Acts No. 6646, 7166, 8189, 8436, 9189, 9369 and other election laws, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to promulgate the following rules and regulations to implement Sections 32 and 33 of Republic Act No. 7166 in connection with the conduct of the May 10, 2010 national and local elections:

SECTION 1.  General Guiding Principles –- During the election period: (a) no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places including all public buildings, streets, parks, and private vehicles or public conveyances, even if licensed to possess or carry the same; and (b) no candidate for public office, including incumbent public officers seeking election to any public office, shall employ, avail himself of or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, whether or not such bodyguards are regular members or officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or other law enforcement agency of the Government.

    The transport of firearms of those who are engaged in the manufacture, importation, exportation, purchase, sale of firearms, explosives and their spare parts or those involving the transportation of firearms, explosives and their spare parts, may, with prior notice to the Commission, be authorized by the Director General of the PNP provided that the firearms, explosives and their spare parts are immediately transported to the Firearms and Explosives Division, CSG, PNP.

SEC. 2.  Definition of Terms. –- As used in this Resolution:

(a)     Election Period refers to the election period prescribed in COMELEC Resolution No. 8646 dated 14 July 2009 which is from 10 January 2010 to 09 June 2010;

(b)    Firearm shall refer to the “firearm” as defined in existing laws, rules and regulations.  The term also includes airgun, airsoft guns, and their replica/imitation in whatever form that can cause an ordinary person to believe that they are real;

(c)    Dead weapon includes bladed instrument, hand grenades or other explosives, except pyrotechnics.

A bladed instrument is not covered by the prohibition when possession of the bladed instrument is necessary to the occupation of the possessor or when it is used as a tool for legitimate activity.

SEC. 3.  Suspension of Issuance of Firearms Licenses. –- The PNP is hereby directed to suspend the issuance of firearms licenses during the election period.

The processing and approval of new firearms license, including renewal of license, may continue on condition that the new license and firearm shall be kept in deposit with the Firearms and Explosives Division of the PNP until after the election period.

Firearms licenses issued in violation of this Section are null and void, without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate administrative and/or criminal charges against the holder or those responsible for the issuance of the license.

SEC. 4.  Who May Bear Firearms. –- Only the following persons who are in the regular plantilla of the PNP or AFP or other law enforcement agencies are authorized to bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons during the election period:

(a)     Regular member or officer of the PNP, the AFP and other law enforcement agencies of the Government, provided that when in the possession of firearm, he is:

(1) in the regular plantilla of the said agencies and is receiving regular compensation for the services rendered in said agencies; and

(2) in the agency-prescribed uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number or, in case rank and serial number are inapplicable, his agency-issued identification card showing clearly his name and position, which identification card shall remain visible at all times;

(3) duly licensed to possess firearm and to carry the same outside of residence by means of a valid mission order or letter order; and

(4) in the actual performance of official law enforcement duty, or in going to or returning from his residence/barracks or official station.

Other law enforcement agencies of the government shall enter to:

1. Guards of the National Bureau of Prisons, Provincial, and City Jails;
2. Members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology;
3. Members of the Custom Enforcement and Security and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs;
4. Port Police Department, Philippine Port Authority;
5. Philippine Economic Zone Authority Police Force;
6. Government guard forces;
7. Law Enforcement Agents and Investigation Agents of the Bureau of Immigration;
8. Members of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Police Force;
9. Members of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) Police Force;
10. Personnel of the Law Enforcement Service of the Land Transportation Office (LTO);
11. Members of the Philippine Cost Guard, Department of Transportation and Communication;
12. Members of the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) Police Force;
13. Agents of ISOG of the Witness Protection Program;
14. Members of the Videogram Regulatory Board performing law enforcement functions;
15. Members of the Security Investigation and Transport Department (STTD), Cash Department (CD), including members of the Office of Special Investigation (OSI), Branch Operations and Department of General Services of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas;
16. Personnel of the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms (OSAA) of the Senate or the House of Representatives and the OSAA-certified designated senators/congressmen’s security escorts;
17. Postal Inspectors, Investigators, Intelligence Officers and Members of the Inspection Service of the Philippine Postal Corporation;
18. Election Officers, Provincial Election Supervisors, Regional Attorneys, Assistant Regional Election Directors, Regional Election Directors, Directors III and IV, Lawyers in the Main Office of the Commission on Elections and the Members of the Commission;
19. Members of the Law Enforcement Section of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources;
20. Members of the Tourist Security Division of the Department of Tourism;
21. Personnel of the Intelligence Division of the Central Management Information Office, Department of Finance;
22. Personnel of the Inspection and Monitoring Service of the National Police Commission;
23. Personnel of the Special Action and Investigation Division, Forest Officers defined under PD 705 and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) DAO No. 1997-32, Forest/Park Rangers, Wildlife Officers and all forest protection and law enforcement officers of the DENR;
24. Personnel of the Intelligence and Security, Office of the Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs;
25. Personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency;
26. Personnel of the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime (PCTC);
27. Personnel of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency;
28. Personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation;
29. Personnel of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG); and
30. Field officers of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, Department of Agriculture.

(b)    Member of privately owned or operated security, investigative, protective or intelligence agencies duly authorized by the PNP, provided that when in the possession of firearm, he is:

(1) in the agency-prescribed uniform with his agency-issued identification card prominently displayed and visible at all times, showing clearly his name and position; and
(2) in the actual performance of duty at his specified place/area of duty.

The heads of other law enforcement agencies and Protective Agents of Private Detective Agencies enumerated above shall, not later than 29 December 2009, submit a colored 4” x 5” picture, with description, of the authorized uniform of the office, to the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) herein established.

SEC. 5.  Submission of Certified List of Names of AFP, PNP and Other Law Enforcement Personnel With Description of Firearms (Kind, Caliber, Make and Serial No., License No./Certificate of Registration, and Permit to Carry No.) –- Heads of offices of agencies mentioned above shall, not later than 29 December 2009, submit to the CBFSP, the list of the names of the personnel of the agency, together with a description of their firearms, who are authorized to bear, carry or transport firearms under this Resolution.  The list shall bear a certification that the persons named therein are in the regular plantilla of the Agency performing law enforcement functions and are receiving regular compensation for the services rendered in the said agency and that the firearms are duly registered firearms.

Personnel of agencies mentioned in Section 4 hereof shall be considered authorized to bear, carry or transport firearms only upon receipt by the CBFSP of the certified list referred to in this Section.

SEC. 6.  Who may be assigned security personnel or bodyguards. –- When circumstances warrant, including but not limited to threats to life and security, a candidate to public office, including incumbent public officer, and private individual, may, upon application, be assigned regular members of the PNP or the AFP or the National Bureau of Investigation, and as augmentation, duly licensed/authorized Protective Agents of Private Detective Agencies, to provide security, for the duration of the election period.

All existing authority granting security personnel or bodyguards are hereby revoked at the start of the election period.  The affected officials or individuals who want to continue to avail of or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguard, shall apply for the employment, availment or engagement of security personnel or bodyguard as provided in Section 7 hereof.

SEC. 7.  Procedure In Applying for Employment, Availment or Engagement of Security Personnel and Bodyguard. – Any candidate for public office, including incumbent public officer seeking election to any public office, or any public officer or private individual, who wants to employ, avail of or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguard, shall file a written application under oath, in three (3) copies, stating his full name, the public office he seeks to be elected, his residence and the reasons or circumstances for the application, in accordance with the following procedures:

A filing fee of PhP5,000.00 shall be charged for each application.

(a)     Candidates for Member, House of Representatives and local elective positions, as well as public officers or private individuals, shall file their applications with the Regional Joint Security Control Desks (R-JSCD) in their respective regions, to be chaired by the COMELEC Regional Election Director.

Candidates for national elective positions shall file their applications with the CBFSP, at the Main Office of the Commission on Elections, Intramuros, Manila.

(b)    Within five (5) days from receipt of the application, the JSCD shall refer the application with threat assessment and recommendations to the CBFSP.

In the case of applications filed with the CBFSP, the CBFSP shall refer the matter to the AFP and PNP which shall immediately conduct a threat or security assessment.  Within five (5) days from referral, the AFP and PNP shall submit to the CBFSP its assessment with a recommendation on whether to grant or not to grant the request.

(c)    Based on the assessment and recommendation submitted to it, the CBFSP shall grant or deny the request or may request for a reassessment.

If the decision is to grant the request, the CBFSP may authorize the Director General of the PNP or the Chief of Staff of the AFP or the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation to assign not more than two (2) of its regular members as security personnel.

Upon request and when the threat assessment warrants, the CBFSP may authorize the assignment of additional two (2) Protective Agents as close-in security.

In exceptionally meritorious circumstances, candidates for national elective positions may request for additional security personnel subject to such conditions and restrictions that the CBFSP may impose.

(d)    The authority shall be in writing and in three (3) copies.  The original shall be given to the office which shall provide the security personnel.  The second shall be retained by the CBFSP.  The third shall be given to the applicant.

(e)    In case of disapproval of the request, the CBFSP shall notify the applicant.  The notice shall be in writing.

As far as practicable, the security personnel to be assigned to candidates in the same city, municipality, district, province, shall come from the same unit or office.

(f)    The officers assigned for security duty to a candidate shall be subject to the same requirements as to the wearing of uniforms and the other conditions imposed in Section 4 (a) hereof.

(g)    If at any time the ground for which the authority to engage the services of security personnel ceases to exist, or for any valid cause, the CBFSP shall revoke the authority granted.

SEC. 8.  Enforcement – Any person who, not wearing the authorized uniform mentioned herein, bears, carries or transports firearm or other deadly weapon, shall be presumed unauthorized to carry firearms and subject to arrest.

SEC. 9.  Establishment and Composition of the CBFSP. – To ensure the attainment of the objective of the ban on firearms and security personnel, the CBFSP is hereby established, with Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle as Chairman, and one (1) star rank officer or equivalent, from the AFP and PNP, as members.  The CBFSP shall be assisted by a Secretariat composed of representatives from the Commission, the AFP and the PNP.  The Secretariat shall be headed by a senior lawyer from the Law Department of the Commission.

The CBFSP shall be responsible for the implementation of the ban on the bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms and the employment, availment or engagement of security personnel.

SEC. 10.  Reporting Requirements. --  The CBFSP submit to the Commission a monthly report on the implementation of this Resolution, which shall include the following:

(a)    Current status of the enforcement (i.e. number of arrests, names of persons involved, number of confiscated firearms, categorized into licensed or unlicensed) of the ban on firearms and security personnel; and

(b)    The peace and order situation in various parts of the country, including insurgency, the existence and size of private armies, the intensity of political rivalries and other circumstances, that may affect the conduct of the elections.

The first monthly report shall be submitted to the Commission on the 1st Monday of February 2010 and every 1st Monday of the succeeding months thereafter and a final report on 30 June 2010.

SEC. 11.  Effectivity and Dissemination. --  This Resolution shall take effect on the seventh (7th) day after its publication in two (2) daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.

The Education and Information Department shall cause the publication of this Resolution and shall furnish copies thereof to all Regional Election Directors, Provincial Election Supervisors, Election Officers, the PNP, the AFP and all other law enforcement agencies.

SO ORDERED.


    (Sgd)  JOSE A.R. MELO
           Chairman
         
(Sgd) RENE V. SARMIENTO                            (Sgd)  NICODEMO T. FERRER
                Commissioner                                                          Commissioner
     
(Sgd) LUCENITO N. TAGLE
Commissioner                                                                (Sgd)  ARMANDO C. VELASCO
                                                                                                        Commissioner
     
(Sgd) ELIAS R. YUSOPH
Commissioner                                                               (Sgd) GREGORIO Y. LARRAZABAL
                                                                                                       Commissioner  

Saturday, April 10, 2010

General Instructions for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs)

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ARTICLE V
PROCEDURES OF VOTING, COUNTING OF VOTES AND TRANSMISSION OF PRECINCT RESULTS

SEC. 33. Preliminaries to the voting.The BEI shall meet at the polling place at six o’clock in the morning of Election Day and do the following:

a) Ensure that it has all the election forms, documents and supplies needed, including:

1)    One (1) iButton security key for the chairman of the BEI for use in operating the PCOS; and

2)    iButton security key and Personal Identification Number (PIN) for each member of the BEI for use to digitally sign the ERs before transmission.

iButtons will be found in the thermal printer compartment and the PINs will be in a separate envelopes found inside the PCOS box.

1.  Post one copy of PCVL, of each precinct in the cluster, near or at the door of the polling place.

2.  Before the voting begins, the Chairman of the BEI shall:

a.    Show to the public and the watchers present that the:
                                                  i.    PCOS box is sealed;

BEI members and watchers shall check if the serial number of the seal used in the PCOS box is the same as the serial number recorded during the testing and sealing.

                                                 ii.    Ballot box is locked and empty; and

                                                iii.    Package of official ballots and the Book of Voters are both duly sealed, and thereafter, break the seals;

b.    Count the ballots manually.  Enter in the Minutes the number of ballots; and the fact that the PCOS box, package of ballots and the Book of Voters were shown to the public with the seals intact.

c.    Remove the seal of the PCOS box, retrieve the PCOS from the box and show that the seals of the printer cover, main memory card slot and back-up memory card slot of the PCOS are intact.  Record in the Minutes such fact and thereafter break the seal of the printer cover.  The Main memory card slot and back-up memory card slot shall remain sealed during the voting.

d.    Install the PCOS by:

                                                  i.    Placing the PCOS properly on top of the ballot box;
                                                 ii.    Connecting the battery of the PCOS; and

                                                iii.    Plugging the power cord.

e.    Wait until the PCOS displays the message: “PLEASE INSERT SECURITY KEY FOR AUTHENTICATION”

f.     Place the iButton security key on top of the iButton security key receptacle and apply slight pressure thereon, until the message “SECURITY KEY VERIFIED” appears on the PCOS screen; and

g.    Remove the iButton security key from its receptacle after which the PCOS shall display the main menu.

The chairman shall keep the iButton security key in his custody throughout the voting.

h.    The Operator shall initialize the PCOS by:

                                                  i.    Selecting “OPEN VOTING” from the Main Menu.

                                              ii.    The PCOS will request for the PIN of the poll clerk who will then enter his PIN and press “ENTER”.  The PCOS will validate the PIN and displays a message “PIN ACCEPTED”.  The PCOS will request for the second PIN from the third member who will then enter his PIN and press “ENTER”.  The PCOS will validate the PIN and displays a message “PIN ACCEPTED”.

                                            iii.    The PCOS will then display two (2) options: “INITIALIZE VOTE COUNTERS” and “PREVIOUS SCREEN”.

                                               iv.    Press the “INITIALIZE VOTE COUNTERS” option of the PCOS.

                                                v.    The PCOS shall display the message “INITIALIZING VOTE COUNTERS”.  Thereafter, PCOS shall automatically print the Initialization Report showing the ZERO (“0”) vote for each candidate and the geographic information (province, city/municipality, barangay, voting center and cluster precinct).

                                 vi.    The PCOS shall display the message “PLEASE INSERT BALLOT”.  Now, the PCOS is ready to accept ballots.

                                     vii.    Detach Initialization Report and let the BEI and the watchers present affix their signatures thereon.

i.      The Chairman shall then place the report inside the envelope (A18-A) for submission to the Election Officer after the voting, for his safekeeping.

SEC. 34. Manner of obtaining ballots.The voter shall:

1. Look for his name in the PCVL posted near the door of the voting center and determine his precinct number and sequence number;

2. Approach the BEI member or the support staff in-charge of the precinct, give his sequence number in the PCVL, name and address, together with the other data concerning his person.

3.   The BEI or the support staff shall verify if the name of the voter is in the EDCVL.  If the name of the voter is in the EDCVL, his identity shall then be established through the following:

                                                  i.    His photograph in the EDCVL or specimen signatures in the Voters Registration Record (VRR) or any authentic document which may establish his identity except barangay certificate or community tax certificate; or

                                                 ii.    In the absence of any of the above-mentioned proof of identity, any member of the BEI or any registered voter of the precinct/clustered precinct may identify under oath a voter, and such act shall be reflected in the Minutes.

If the BEI or support staff is satisfied with his identity, the name of the voter shall be distinctly announced in a tone loud enough to be heard throughout the polling place.  Otherwise, the voter shall be directed to leave the polling place after informing him the reason thereof.  If the voter is not challenged, or having been challenged, the question has been decided in his favour, the voter shall be directed to the chairman of the BEI.

Before giving the ballot to the voter, the Chairman of the BEI shall:

a)    Check if any of the fingernails of the voter has already been stained with indelible ink.  If stained, it shall be a conclusive presumption that he has cast his vote.  As such, the voter shall be directed to leave the polling place after informing him the reason thereof.  This fact, including the name and the precinct of the voter, shall be recorded by the Poll Clerk in the Minutes;

b)    After verifying that no fingernail has been stained, affix his signature in the EDCVL;

c)    Authenticate the ballot by affixing his signature at the designated space at the front thereof.

The failure to authenticate the ballot shall not invalidate the ballot, but shall constitute an election offense.

d)    Instruct the voter on how to fill-up the ballot properly.

e)    Insert the ballot in the secrecy folder in such a manner that its face is covered, except the portion where his signature in the ballot appears, and give the ballot to the voter.

Only the Chairman shall issue the official ballots, and not more than one ballot shall be issued at one time.

f)     Require the voter to affix his signature on the proper space in the EDCVL.

SEC. 35.  Manner of voting. Voting shall be conducted in the following manner:

1.    The voter shall, using the ballot secrecy folder and the marking pen provided by the COMELEC, fill his ballot by fully shading the oval beside the names of the candidates and political party participating in the party list system of representation of his choice.

2.    The voter shall then approach the PCOS, insert his ballot in the ballot entry slot and wait until the ballot is dropped into the ballot box.  The BEI shall monitor the PCOS screen to make sure that the ballot was successfully accepted.  Thereafter, the voter shall return the ballot secrecy folder and marking pen to the Chairman.

3.    The Chairman shall apply indelible ink at the base and extending to the cuticle of the right forefinger nail of the voter, or any other nail, if there be no forefinger nail.

4.    The voter shall affix his thumbmark on the corresponding space in the EDCVL.

5.    The voter shall then leave the polling place.

SEC. 36. Rejected ballots; Procedure. Ballots may be rejected by the PCOS during the scanning.  In the event of a rejected ballot, the voter shall be allowed to re-insert the ballot.  If the PCOS still rejects the ballot, the voter shall return the ballot to the Chairman who shall:

1.    Distinctly mark the back thereof as “Rejected,”

2.    Require all members of the board to sign at the back thereof, and place inside the Envelope for Rejected Ballots (A15).

No replacement ballot shall be issued to a voter whose ballot is rejected by the PCOS.

Any party objecting to the rejection of the ballot shall reduce his objection in writing, which the Board shall attach and note in the Minutes.

SEC. 37. Disposition of unused ballots. After the voting, the Chairman, in the presence of the BEI, shall:

1.    Record in the Minutes the quantity of unused ballots.

2.    Tear the unused ballots in half lengthwise.

3.    The first one-half shall be placed in the envelope (A15), and submit to the EO for safekeeping.

4.    Place the other half in another envelope (A15), and then deposit inside the compartment of the ballot box for valid ballots.

Such facts shall be entered in the Minutes.

SEC. 38. Counting of ballots and transmission of results; Procedure.

1.    At the end of voting and before the start of counting of votes, the procedure of validating the iButton security key stated in Section 33 (6 and 7) herein shall be performed.

2.    The Operator shall then press the “CLOSE VOTING” option in the Main Menu.

3.    The screen will display a message “ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO CLOSE VOTING?  NO MORE BALLOTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS.”  Select “YES” option.
4.    The PCOS will request for the PIN of the poll clerk who will then enter his PIN and press “ENTER”. 

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