CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Seven village chiefs in Carmen, North Cotabato each turned over a loose firearm to authorities in support of the government’s “Balik Baril” program, the military here said Friday.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Roberto Capulong, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said the surrendered weapons comprised six M1 Garand rifles and an M14 assault rifle.
Capulong said the village chiefs handed over the firearms at the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Carmen town on Wednesday afternoon.
He added that the village chiefs initially held a dialogue with Lt. Col. Rommel Mundala, commander of the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion (90IB), about the surrender of the firearms.
“This solid support extended by the village officials of Carmen town is worth the military’s commendation,” Capulong said, adding that it “exemplifies the harmonious relationship” between the security sector and the community.
“Rest assured that we will continue to employ the whole-of-nation approach of the government to end lawlessness and criminality in our area of operation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mundala said the firearms would temporarily be under the custody of the 90IB for proper disposition.
“We hope that locals with loose firearms would surrender (them and) would do the same as what the village officials did,” he said. (PNA)