TTAG has raised the flag on the gun control situation in the Philippines. The country’s law enforcement agents are busy removing firearms from private ownership under the auspices of the [unelected] Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban. That effort continues apace. “The Eastern Police District (EPD) said Sunday that a total of 84 people were arrested in the eastern part of Metro Manila for violating the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban since its full implementation last Jan. 10. Police Inspector Jovie Iquin, chief of the EPD’s Public Information Office (PIO) . . . said four of those arrested were members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, three were security guards; one is a reservist while the other was a security officer.” Huh. All this gun confiscation business is going down ahead of national elections in May. And after. “Comelec Resolution Number 8714 which imposes a nationwide gun ban took effect on Jan. 10, 2010 and would remain enforced until June 9, 2010.” In fact, the police are considering continuing the ban indefinitely. Of course, this could never happen here. And, to be fair . . .

Gunmen loyal to a powerful clan accused in the Philippines’ worst political massacre clashed with police in the first reported violence since martial law was imposed in the southern region.

No casualties were reported and government negotiators were trying to persuade about 2,400 gunmen to surrender peacefully to avoid bloodshed, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno told reporters in Manila.

About 20-30 armed followers of the Ampatuan clan, the main suspect in the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 people traveling in a rival’s election convoy, opened fire on police commandos late Sunday while they were patrolling Datu Unsay township, near the site of the massacre, national police chief Jesus Verzosa said . . .

Army troops have raided the Ampatuans’ mansions, farms, warehouses and offices and discovered a huge arsenal of weapons, including machine guns, grenade launchers and nearly half a million rounds of ammunition.

irrawaddy.org also reports that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo imposed martial law Maguindanao on Friday, “the first use of military rule in the Philippines since late dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared it nationwide more than 30 years ago.”

Democracy, eh?

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