More than 20,000 loose firearms still unaccounted for in Mindanao — AFP
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. justified the need for martial law in Mindanao as more than 20,000 loose firearms remain unaccounted.
“Definitely (we need martial law) kasi meron pang 80 percent kaming mga firearms na hindi nakukuha, kung 6,000 lang ang nakuha namin I think that’s only (20 percent). We need to get all the 80 percent of the firearms so we will remove the possibility of using this for lawlessness and criminalities,” he told reporters in Marawi City on Thursday.
According to the AFP, an estimated 30,000 illegally-owned firearms in the region have yet to be accounted for.
The government declared martial law in Mindanao when terrorists laid siege in Marawi City on May 23 last year. After the fighting ended in October, the government decided to extend the imposition of martial law in the region through the whole year of 2018.
“Sa Jolo, very effective kasi nakita natin na we can search houses….Nakikita ng mga tao na martial law is being implemented against lawless elements,” Galvez said.
AFP public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato echoed Galvez’s sentiments, saying that martial law “makes for faster mission accomplishment.”
Some groups have condemned the alleged killings under martial law, but the military has denied this, and demanded that these groups to present evidence. /muf
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