Another North Cotabato town yields 119 loose firearms

By Edwin Fernandez

April 27, 2018, 5:51 pm

<p>Midsayap surrendered firearms <em><strong>(Photo by Garry Fuerzas)</strong></em></p>

Midsayap surrendered firearms (Photo by Garry Fuerzas)

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato--Another North Cotabato town has initiated the surrender of 119 loose firearms to the military in support of the government’s disarmament campaign in Mindanao.

On Thursday, this town became the third local government unit in Region 12 to turnover unlicensed firearms to the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Cotabato City and the town of Carmen in North Cotabato have earlier responded to the martial law directive to surrender loose firearms from civilians.

Mayor Romeo Araña of Midsayap led the hand over of the assorted guns and ammunition to Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division during ceremonies held at the town gymnasium.

Araña said the guns were collected from civilians in the town’s 57 municipalities.

Araña said the surrendered firearms included 63 high powered and 56 low powered guns with 65 assorted magazines and 379 mixed ammunition.

Araña told reporters that civilians, who armed themselves in defense against harassment by lawless elements, especially during harvest season, voluntarily surrendered the firearms.

“Your efforts to bring in unlicensed guns are laudable and must be emulated by other local government executives,” Dela Vega said.

Dela Vega stressed that only the military and the police are authorized to possess and carry firearms.

Mendoza said more LGUs are expected to formally turn over unlicensed guns to the military, as local government executives in North Cotabato’s 18 towns and a city are in the process of collecting guns from residents.

Army Capt. Arvin Johngn Encinas, 6th ID spokesperson, said  there are currently 956 loose firearms surrendered and recovered from the different local government units under the 6th ID.

Mindanao has been under martial law since the Marawi siege last year and President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order is for the military to collect all loose firearms. The 6th ID covers the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and part of Lanao del Sur.

On Wednesday, Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu presented to President Duterte in Buluan town more than 900 unlicensed firearms collected from the province’s 36 municipalities. (PNA)