By Francis Wakefield
A total of 133 unlicensed firearms were turned over to the Philippine Army in Pikit town, the fourth to surrender in North Cotabato province, after the municipal local officials urged and convinced their constituents to surrender their loose firearms.
Pikit Mayor Sumulong K. Sultan led the turnover of high and low powered firearms with the presence of North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza to 6th Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana at the town’s municipal gymnasium on Monday.
Sobejana said he is grateful for the initiative of the mayor and his barangay captains for their commitment to sustain the campaign of the government against loose firearms.
The firearms were collected from all the 42 barangays of the town including its mayor and local officials whom they surrendered to the 7th Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Ciriaco A. Lomas-e Jr. and 602nd Brigade commander Col. Alfredo V. Rosario Jr., the units that holds jurisdiction over Pikit town.
Turned over were 14 rocket-propelled grenades, 22 M79 rifles, 13 M14 rifles, three M16 rifles, 17 mussel rifles, one M4 rifle, 13 shotguns, 26 Baretta rifles, nine mortars, 12 carbines, and three Uzis.
Among the towns in North Cotabato that surrendered loose firearms were Carmen, Midsayap and Matalam with 102, 119 and 150 firearms, respectively.