25 people arrested in day 1 of election gun ban

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Six persons in Maguindanao who violated the election gun ban were apprehended.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief C/Supt. Oscar Albayalde reported multiple arrests for violations 24 hours after the start of the nationwide gun ban for the elections season. 

In his weekly briefing Monday, Albayalde said they were able to apprehend 25 people and seize 27 firearms, 168 rounds of ammunition, seven bladed weapons, 22 gun replicas, 70 sachets of suspected shabu and two glass pipes with suspected marijuana since the ban was implemented on Sunday. 

Albayalde said they conducted 4,447 checkpoint operations that resulted to these arrests. In the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) where the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebisicite will be held this month, the PNP conducted 518 checkpoints on top of eight joint checkpoints with the military, the chief added. 

Echoing Metro Manila Police Chief C/Supt. Guillermo Eleazar's sentiments, Albayalde remarked the first day of checkpoint operations as "generally peaceful." 

"The first day of the election period may be considered generally peaceful yet it depicts the violent incidents may still occur due to the number of confiscated or seized firearms," he told the media.

READ: PNP: Day 1 of checkpoint operations 'generally peaceful'

Albayalde added that he has approved the request of several candidates for exemption to the gun ban so their security detail or escorts may be allowed to carry firearms for their protection. However, this has to be approved by the Commission on Elections first. He has yet to disclose the number of candidates who made the request for exemption. 

The gun ban will remain in effect during the entire election period from Sunday, January 13 to Election Day for the midterm polls on May 13.