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MANILA: President Benigno Aquino may be the most powerful man in the country but he still has to submit to the Commission on Elections when it comes to guns during the election period.
Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes yesterday said the president will not be automatically exempted from the gun ban, which will takes effect on Sunday, the start of the 120-day election period.
“I think no, (he is not exempted). We’re giving exemption more to the security rather than the person himself, which means if you are a Senate president, it is not the Senate president who will be given exemption but the security,” he said in an interview.
Brillantes said even members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) are not automatically exempted from the gun ban.
“PSG personnel will have to apply individually and then we will approve their applications,” he said.
According to Elections Commissioner Rene Sarmiento, the President’s participation in target shooting will have to be put on hold while the gun ban is in effect.
Aquino has admitted going on target shooting during weekends as part of his recreation.
“No one is above the law. Shoot fest is not tolerated when a gun ban is in effect. It is not stated in the Comelec resolution but the wisdom and morality of the resolution dictates that,” Sarmiento added.
He said gun ban exemptions should be filed with the Comelec’s gun ban committee headed by Commissioner Elias Yusoph.
The Philippine Star