BALOI, LANAO DEL NORTE —– Atleast thirty loose firearms were turned-over on Friday afternon (October 25), by the six local government units (LGUs) of Lanao del Norte to the Army's 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion.
Since the start of 2019, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been urging the LGUs to direct their constituents to surrender or turn-over their loose firearms to authorities.
This is in compliance also to the Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions.
The local chief executives and representatives of Matungao, Linamon, Pantar, Munai, Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat led the turn-over ceremony inside the headquarters of the 4th Mech in Barangay Nangka, in Baloi town as witnessed by Col. Facundo Palafox, commander of the Army's 2nd Mechanized Brigade that has operational control of the area.
Since January this year, around 150 loose firearms have been turned over by the LGUs to the AFP through the battalions in the area.
Seventy five of these are high-powered firearms while 71 are low-powered.
Nineteen of these were recovered in series of focused military operations against lawless elements according to Palafox.
"We are sustaining the program to be successful. In the coming days, mapaigting po natin ang ating seguridad by helping ng ating kapulisan at kasundaluhan sa pag-surender po ng ating mga loose firearms para maiwasan po natin ang magkasakitan sa ating kapwa," Palafox said in his message during the ceremony.
LtCol. Bernardo Taqueban, commander of 4th Mech, said implementing the law is also helping the government to make the people in the area safe and secured.
"Ito ang tools kung saan nagkakaroon ng kremin. Hindi na po kailangan ang mga ito dahil ang ating lugar, unti-unti ay nakikita natin na peaceful na ang ating lugar," Taqueban said.
He added that aside from helping the government, the military is also helping the public because a civilian's mere possession of firearms would expose somebody to be harmed.
Munai town mayor Racma Dansal Andamama in her response said Munai LGU has been supporting the military in implementing the program because they believe that there is development if there is stable peace and order.
"Kami sa Munai, alam natin na ang Munai ay kasali sa conflict area sa Lanao del Norte. Nagpapasalamat ako sa 4th Mech sa pagpapanatili sa kaayusan at kapayapaan sa Munai," Andamama said.