Local chief executives yielded more loose firearms to the security forces in Cotabato on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
The campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms in Cotabato resulted in the surrender of 72 high-powered and low-powered firearms in the municipalities of Banisilan, Pigcawayan, and Midsayap, thanks to the combined efforts of the 34th Infantry Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Edgardo Vilchez, Jr., local government units, and punong barangays.
“The troops under the Western Mindanao Command continue to intensify the campaign against loose firearms to keep the peace and order in the communities,” said Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Acting Commander of Western Mindanao Command.
This operational gain, according to Col. Jovencio Gonzales, commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, is the outcome of negotiations and dialogues with local leaders and other stakeholders.
Turned over were 36 improvised shotguns, an M79 rifle, two ganged pistols, one cal. 30mm rifle, 11 cal. 38 pistols, one 9mm Uzi, one 5.56mm rifle, one 7.62 Sniper rifle, one 7.62 Mauser rifle, six cal. 22mm rifles, one 7.62mm rifle, one cal. 50 rifle, five cal. 45 pistols, three 12-gauge shotguns, and one rifle grenade.
In a simple ceremony held at the 602nd Infantry Brigade headquarters at Camp Lucero, Barangay Nasapian, Carmen, Cotabato, Banisilan Mayor Jesus Alisasis together with Banisilan ABC President Melvin Salvador, Midsayap ABC President Alan Ry Mostrales who represented Mayor Romeo Araña, and Police Lt. Leonalyn Sison of Pigcawayan Municipal Police Station who represented Mayor Jean Dino Roquero, handed over the said loose firearms to Col. Gonzales.
The firearms were then sent to the 34IB headquarters in Barangay Salunayan, Midsayap, for safekeeping and paperwork.
“I commend the efforts of our troops of the 34Ib under the 602nd Infantry Brigade for this accomplishment,” said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central.
Since January 2021, JTF Central has accumulated a total of 140 loose firearms, all of which have been surrendered by inhabitants of central Mindanao provinces.