Maguindanao town yields loose firearms

By Edwin Fernandez

March 4, 2018, 12:09 pm


CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – More loose firearms were surrendered in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur due to the continuous support of local government executives to the government’s “Balik Baril” program.

On Saturday, Mayor Reshal Ampatuan of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao, turned over 15 assorted firearms from residents of her town to the Philippine Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade based in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

The loose firearms were owned by civilians and residents of the villages of Meta, Maitumaig, Pananget, Macalag, Tuntungan, and Bulayan, all of Datu Unsay.

Brig. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 601st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded Ampatuan for helping the military collect unlicensed guns from unauthorized civilians.

Surrendered were one M-16 A1 rifle, three cal. 30 M1 Garand rifles, four homemade 12-gauge shotgun, two homemade shotgun (converted), two caliber 45 pistols, one 9mm-caliber pistol and two Uzi submachine gun.

Carreon said the continuous collaboration of government forces with the local chief executives and barangay officials in the implementation of martial law and the campaign against loose firearms has produced positive results.

Last Feb. 27, residents of the municipalities of Buldon, Parang, Matanog and Barira, all of Maguindanao, also surrendered a total of 88 loose firearms.

A week earlier, residents of five adjoining towns of Kapatagan, Malabang, Balabagan, Marugong and Picong in Lanao del Sur also surrendered to the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion based in Malabang in compliance to the Army’s call for disarmament of civilians.

Military and police officials have placed the number of loose firearms to about 15,000, including those in the hands of Moro rebels and terrorist groups.

“As part of the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, the Army is determined to collect loose firearms through peaceful means but would use military resources if necessary against those who possess unlicensed guns,” Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said in a statement. (PNA)