Gunban armm july 1-23, 2012
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has declared a total gun ban in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), effective July 1 to 23, during the general registration of voters ahead of the May 2013 elections.
Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome issued a June 27 memorandum ordering the ARMM police chief, Chief Superintendent Mario Avenido, to enforce the suspension of all Permits To Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFORs), in the entire ARMM, including Cotabato City and Isabela City.
“Only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies who are performing official duties and in agency-prescribed uniforms will be allowed to carry firearms,” he said in the memo.
The Commission on Elections earlier set the general registration of voters to July 9 to 18.
Bartolome directed the regional police to set up checkpoints and deploy mobile and beat patrols to enforce the gun ban more effectively.
Congress deferred the 2011 ARMM elections to 2013 and allowed President Aquino to appoint officers in charge in the region, including governor.
The law postponing the election was questioned at the Supreme Court but the high tribunal upheld it.
Many areas in ARMM are known to be hotbeds of electoral fraud and violence compounded by clan wars, private armies and political dynasties.
The gun ban was announced a day after a trusted aide of the acting governor of ARMM was gunned down on Wednesday in Cotabato City.
Jesus Dillo, former activist who went underground during martial law, was on the way home from the ARMM office in Cotabato at about 6 p.m. when he was attacked by two men riding a motorcycle.
Dillo was shot several times with a .45 cal. pistol, police said. He died at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
Mujiv Hataman, acting ARMM governor, said Dillo was among the most active civil society leaders in ARMM and was helping institute reforms in the graft-ridden autonomous region.
Dillo was involved in various foreign and locally funded development projects in ARMM and Central Mindanao region. He was also active in advocacy groups, like Reform ARMM Movement, and was member of the Anak Mindanao party-list group which Hataman used to represent in Congress.
Catholic priest Eliseo Mercado, head of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance where Dillo was also a member, said Dillo spent most of his time helping poor Muslims become productive through various livelihood and income generating projects. With a report from Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao