Army recovers high-powered guns near COMELEC office in North Cotabato

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The Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) has lauded military units on Friday for recovering high-powered firearms near the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office in Pikit, North Cotabato.

This came after the 6ID commander, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, told the 90th Infantry Battalion (90IB) and all other military forces in the province to be on the lookout for reprisal assaults.

Around 2 PM, Friday, members of 90IB were manning a checkpoint at the entrance to the town’s municipal hall grounds when they noticed two firearms displayed in plain view at the back of a pick-up truck approaching the government compound.

When asked for documents permitting them to own and transport high-powered weapons, the driver and his passenger were unable to present them. Inside the vehicle’s passenger side, more firearms were recovered.

Soldiers recovered four M16 A1 rifles, 27 long magazines, one short magazine, 850 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, three bandoleers, and one caliber .45 pistol with six magazines and 45 rounds of ammunition.

“Our troopers noticed that the vehicle occupants were uneasy,” Uy said.

Uy, also the commander of Joint Task Force Central, said Benjamin Mantol, alias Datu Mama, the village leader of Talitay, Pikit, North Cotabato, was recognized as the driver and owner of the Toyota pick-up truck.

He was handed over to the Pikit municipal police for custody by the military.

Mantol and his accomplices are facing charges of violating the election gun ban and Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act).

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