By Francis Wakefield
Barangay officials in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi turned over 34 crew-served and high-powered firearms to government forces on Monday, March 11.
Security personnel facilitated the surrender of 17 M1 Garand rifles, an M16A1 rifle, a Caliber .45 pistol, 11 Caliber .38 revolvers, two FN7 rifles, a Caliber .50 heavy machine gun, and an M79 Grenade Launcher.
The surrender was facilitated by Marine Battalion Landing Team-9, 2nd Marine Brigade, Panglima Sugala Municipal Police Station, Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Office, and Mayor Rejie Sahali-Generale of Panglima Sugala.
Seventeen barangay officials turned over the firearms at the municipal gym of Barangay Batu-Batu, Panglima Sugala at 11am on Monday.
The firearms were then turned over to the police for proper disposition.
“The surrender is an initial turnout of the loose firearms campaign and the result of the information drive of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, in cooperation with the police and the local government,” said Colonel Camilo Balutan, the Joint Task Force (JTF) Tawi-Tawi Commander.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) said it maintains its support to the government’s campaign against loose firearms in Mindanao.
“We will continue to employ a diplomatic approach in removing all implements of violence and in disarming private armed groups by strengthening our cooperation with the police and the local officials in the area of operations,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the WestMinCom commander.
“We are elated to see that we made great strides in our bid to bring internal security and development amid Martial Law in Mindanao.”
“We will continue to facilitate the surrender of more undocumented firearms in the area. We also want to extend our gratitude to the residents and the local officials in ZamBaSulTa area for their trust and support,” he added.