In support for the military’s campaign against loose firearms, residents of Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao has surrendered guns t the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6th ID) in Camp Siongcno, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat.
The Moro people are known for their practice of owning more than one gun, which aside from being considered as their “status symbol,” they also use it for self-defense to protect their properties against lawless elements.
But since President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao due to the five-month siege between ISIS-inspired terrorists and military troops, residents have started surrendering their guns to authorities.
“The military’s intensified campaign against loose firearms continues and has earned the public support of local officials and residents of Maguindanao,” Major Gen. Arnel dela Vega, commander of the 6th ID and Task Force Central said.
At least nine high-powered firearms and magazines and ammunitions from residents and a member of a private army in Maguindanao has been turned over to the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Batallion in Datu Salibo which is part of the 601st Infantry Brigade.
Also among those who surrendered guns are Barangay Damabalas Datu Piang Chairman Quaipo Dalandanas who gave out one locally made caliber 50 sniper rifle and two US caliber M1 Garand rifles modified into calbire 7.62 M-14 rifles.
Barangay Madia in Saudi Ampatuan Chairman Edris Sindatok also handed over one US caliber-30 M1 Garand rifle modified into 7.26 M14 rifleand one US 5.56 Colt M16 rifle.
Moreover, Mantila Tambak of Task Force Itihad (Unity) of Barangay Ambadao, Datu Piang, surrendered one US caliber-30 M1 Garand rifle and one US caliber 5.56 Elisco M16 rifle.
Alleged member of a private army, Abe Andal, likewise surrendered one US caliber 5.56 Elisco M-16 riffle with attached locally made M203.
Brig. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 601st Brigade commander expressed appreciations and encouraged other Maguindanaoans with illegally-obtained firearms to voluntarily hand them out avoid charges of illegal possession of loose firearms.
“I appreciated your commendable action and genuine gesture in giving up your firearms,” he said.