Local officials of Datu Salibo, Maguindanao turned over 13 high-powered firearms to military troops on Wednesday, February 6.
Datu Salibo Mayor Norodin Salasal yielded the loose firearms to Colonel Joel Abregana, the 601st Infantry Brigade Deputy Commander, and Lieutenant Colonel James Fernando, the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion Commander.
The surrendered firearms consisted of a Barrett sniper rifle, a Caliber .30 rifle, a Rocket-propelled grenade launcher, an M14 rifle, a KG9 rifle, a UZI Caliber, and seven M79 grenade launchers.
Mayor Salasal said the firearms surrendered by residents will contribute to the government forces’ sustained campaign for internal security in Datu Salibo.
“This (surrender) manifests that we are making a progress in our campaign to end the proliferation of loose firearms in Datu Salibo,” said Major General Cirilito Sobejana, the Joint Task Force Central Commander.
“This is also an offshoot of our persistent operations and cooperation with the police and the local government units in the area of operations,” he added.
Police Senior Superintendent Ronald Briones, Maguindanao OIC Provincial Director; Datu Salibo Vice-Mayor Ingkong Mamantal; chairmen of 17 barangays in Datu Salibo; and other constituents witnessed the turnover in Barangay Sambulawan on Wednesday.
The municipality of Datu Salibo turned over 22 loose firearms to military troops on March 5 and October 2, last year.
Since 2018, the JTF Central recovered 1,990 firearms in its area of jurisdiction.
“We implore the commitment and sincerity of every peace-loving Mindanaoan in this quest for sustained security and development,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“As we demilitarize armed groups in Mindanao, we encourage local governments, organizations, and everyone at stake to take crucial roles to achieve the peace we aspire.”