Lanao Norte town of­fi­cials yield loose firearms

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories -

ILIGAN CITY -- Re­spond­ing to the call of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo R. Duterte for a peace­ful Min­danao, local of­fi­cials in the Lanao del Norte town of Sal­vador vol­un­tar­ily turned over their un­li­censed firearms to the mil­i­tary on Fri­day.

Sal­vador Mayor Has­sanor Tawantawan led the sur­ren­der of 27 as­sorted high­pow­ered firearms, in­clud­ing those owned by 24 barangay heads of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

In giv­ing up the loose firearms, Tawantawan said they wanted to demon­strate their co­op­er­a­tion to Duterte’s de­sire to at­tain peace in Min­danao, and sup­port the mil­i­tary’s on­go­ing cam­paign against un­li­censed guns pro­lif­er­at­ing in the Lanao provinces.

“We sup­port Pres­i­dent Duterte’s cam­paign for a gun­less and peace­ful Min­danao,” he said, thank­ing barangay of­fi­cials for yield­ing their un­li­censed guns.

Tawantawan ex­plained that for most Lanao res­i­dents, main­tain­ing a firearm is nec­es­sary to pro­tect them­selves from armed groups and even Moro se­ces­sion­ist rebels.

The peace and or­der sit­u­a­tion in the Lanao provinces, he pointed out, was grim in 2008, when sev­eral Lanao towns were at­tacked by rogue el­e­ments within the Moro Is­lamic Lib­er­a­tion Front (MILF).

“But now we have sur­passed the cri­sis with the help of our men in uni­form, and dur­ing night time, the people here can sleep well,” the mayor said.

Tawantawan said they are also op­ti­mistic about Duterte’s ef­forts to re­store peace by en­gag­ing the MILF and other armed groups in Min­danao to work for peace.

He also called on the town’s res­i­dents to sur­ren­der their un­li­censed guns, while keep­ing their ears on the ground for ter­ror­ist threats and other sus­pi­cious-look­ing in­di­vid­u­als.

Lt. Col. Ronel R. Manalo, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the Army’s 5th Mech­a­nized In­fantry Bat­tal­ion, praised Tawantawan’s lead­er­ship, and called on other of­fi­cials

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