102 loose firearms surrendered to military in North Cotabato | Inquirer News

102 loose firearms surrendered to military in North Cotabato

By: - Correspondent / @kmanlupigINQ
/ 02:50 PM April 19, 2018

CARMEN, North Cotabato – At least 102 loose firearms were turned over by residents here on Thursday under the military’s program of disarmament of civilian communities.

The firearms were presented to North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño Mendoza and Carmen Mayor Rogelio Taliño.

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Also in attendance were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and top officials of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley, 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao, and 4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro City.

The unlicensed firearms were used by residents during the times of conflict to secure their own families from perceived enemies, officials said.

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The surrendered weapons included five mortar tubes, five locally made sniper rifles, a crew-served machine gun, rocket-propelled grenades, and M79 grenade launchers.

“We have been the host of many conflicts. We have seen many displaced residents. We suffered casualties. But today signifies that the people in the province of Cotabato will peacefully coexist,” Mendoza, who hailed from this town, said.

Dureza said the surrender should be emulated by residents of other towns in North Cotabato.

“Even if you shot someone in self defense, if your firearm is not licensed, then you are still liable. But the perfect situation is if there would be no need for firearms anymore,” Dureza said.

Major General Arnel dela Vega, 6th ID commander, said the voluntary efforts of the residents were proof of the trust of the people on the local government.

“That is why the strategic framework (of the AFP) is anchored on peace, development and good governance,” dela Vega said.

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TAGS: Carmen Mayor Rogelio Taliño, civilians, disarmament, Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, Firearms, Jesus Dureza, Military
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