Total gun ban in Davao Sur; more troops eyed

May. 24, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who chairs the Regional Peace and Order Council in Southern Mindanao, announced today that all gun-ban exemptions in neighboring Davao del Sur will be recalled and suspended as a result of the election-related violence in that province.

The total gun ban in Davao del Sur is in line with the directive signed by Comelec Commissioner Romeo Brawner ordering Duterte, the regional police and the regional Comelec “to implement the revocation of all previously issued certificates of exemption in the province.”

Anyone brandishing a firearm and is not a member of the armed forces or of the police will be arrested,” Duterte said today in a statement. “And if that someone is a bodyguard of a politician, the politician will be arrested as well, he said. This is how we will do it, we just have to be really firm in applying the law and protecting the people.

The decision to implement the total gun ban and lift exemptions came after political tension in the province heightened following the killing of a LAKAS-CMD mayoral candidate and his son in Malita, Davao del Sur. Killed were Isidro Sarmiento and his son.

The two were allegedly shot by Congressman Claude Bautista, who was eyeing the gubernatorial seat of the province against fellow Congressman Douglas Cagas. The National Bureau of Investigation in the region has already filed double murder cases against Bautista, who has gone missing.

Additional troops will be deployed to Davao del Sur in the coming days to intensify checkpoints and chokepoints, officials said, adding that they hope the deployment would ease the tension in the province. (

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