The Commission on Elections by virtue of the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Act No. 7166, and other election laws, resolved, as it hereby resolves, to promulgate the guidelines in placing any political division, subdivision, unit or area under COMELEC control:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Section 1. Grounds for Comelec Control. – When in any political division, subdivision, unit or area, circumstances such as intense political rivalry between or among candidates, political factions or parties, or the presence of paramilitary forces, private armies or identifiable armed bands widely perceived to have committed terrorism, fraud or other election irregularities in past electoral exercises, or other analogous circumstances, threaten or tend to disrupt the holding of free, peaceful, honest, orderly and credible elections, the Commission may place such political division, subdivision, unit or area under its immediate and direct control.
Sec. 2. Powers and Functions of the Commission. – This stand-by authority shall be exercised by the Commission sitting en banc as the need arises. In furtherance thereof, the Commission shall:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(b) Exercise full control and supervision over all national and local law enforcement agencies as well as military officers and men assigned or deployed in the political division, subdivision, unit or area concerned.
For immediate and effective control of the political division, subdivision, unit or area concerned the Commission shall exercise its authority through the Commissioner-In-Charge of the Region where Comelec control has been imposed.
Sec. 3. Special Task Froce. – To ensure the conduct of free, peaceful, orderly, honest and credible elections in each political division, subdivision, unit or area placed under Comelec control, there is hereby created a Special Task Force which shall be composed of the Commissioner-In-Charge of the Region as Task Force head, and as members, the Regional Election Director concerned, the highest-ranking regional official of the Philippine National Police and the highest-ranking officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assigned in the region.
At the discretion of the Commissioner-In-Charge or whenever required by exigency additional members who must be lawyers of the Commission may be appointed to the Special Task Force.
Sec. 4. Powers and Duties of the Special Task Force. – The Special Task Force shall have the following powers and duties:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(b) To oversee effective and necessary distribution, assignment and deployment of officers and personnel of the Philippine National Police as well as officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the locality concerned, and place under its control their activities relative to the strict enforcement of the law on the firearms ban, security personnel of candidates and private citizens, the appointment or use of special policemen for election purposes and similar prohibitions under the pertinent provisions of Sec. 261 of the Omnibus Election Code and Sec. 32, Sec. 33 and Sec. 34 of Republic Act No. 7166.
(c) To augment the police force and assign additional military troops whenever necessary to quell any possible outbreak of violence and maintain peace and order in the locality concerned.
(d) When necessary, to substitute a whole unit of the police force assigned in the locality concerned with another police unit or with an adequate unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
(e) To relieve any police or military officer or personnel who may be found unsuitable for continuance in his present assignment in the locality concerned, reassign or confine to quarters any such member of the police or military unit.
(f) To revoke all exemptions heretofore issued under the firearms ban to candidates and their bodyguards, and cancel all permits to carry firearm outside residence granted to residents of the political division, subdivision, unit or area concerned, as peace and order conditions in the locality demand.
)g) To act as the law enforcement arm of the Commission in effecting and implementing its specific orders, rulings, resolutions and decisions.
(h) To adopt appropriate measures to safeguard and ensure the holding of free, peaceful, orderly, honest and credible elections in the political division, subdivision, unit or area under Comelec control.
(i) To submit periodic situation reports to the Commission by the most expeditious means.
Except when prior approval or authority of the Commission is required, its decisions and orders shall be final and immediately executory, unless modified, reversed or revoked by the Commission.
Sec. 5. Support of the PNP and AFP Chiefs. – The Director General, Philippine National Police, and the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, are hereby directed under their deputation, Comelec Resolution No. 3308 and No. 3309, to provide immediate support of personnel, equipment, all vehicles and transportation facilities as the Special Task Force may require from time to time.
Sec. 6. Effectivity of Comelec Control. – Comelec control over a political division, subdivision, unit or area shall continue to be in full force and effect until the end of the election period, unless sooner lifted by the Commission.
Let the Education and Information Department give this Resolution the widest dissemination.
Let the Executive Director implement this resolution as may be appropriate and necessary.
(Sgd.) RUFINO S.B. JAVIER, Acting Chairman
(Sgd.) LUZVIMINDA G. TANCANGCO, Commissioner
(Sgd.) RALPH C. LANTION, Commissioner
(Sgd.) MEHOL K. SADAIN, Commissioner
Promulgated: 13 February 2001.