City officials sell 15 unauthorized guns

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Municipal officials in Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan province, handed over 15 loose firearms to military authorities as they expressed support for the implementation of the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) program of the government.

The firearms which were handed over by Mayor Lutfurrahman Maturan with Lieutenant Colonel Egverr Jonathan Abutin, commander of the 18th Infantry Battalion, include nine hunting rifles, a 6.5mm Arisaka Type 44 carbine, a carbine M1, M1 Garand rifle, Audacious Action rimfire .22 caliber, M16A1 and M-203 rifle with 40mm detached.

The guns were handed over by civilians from various villages in Ungkaya Pukan Municipality.

On Thursday, July 15, the municipal government and Ungkaya Pukan village officials signed a memorandum of understanding, expressing their full support for the implementation of the SALW program in Basilan province.

The town of Ungkaya Pukan is the eleventh and last municipality in the province of Basilan to commit to supporting the SALW program.

Maturan said there are many ways to achieve peace and one is to hand over guns in bulk.

Governor Basilan Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman said in a statement that the Joint Committee on Standardization of the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has launched the SALW program to encourage former MILF members and other civilians to surrender their weapons. to eradicate the proliferation of bulk firearms.

“In the full implementation of the SALW program, there will be no consideration for people who do not want to take the program,” said Salliman.

He further stated that the SALW program is one of the keys to a peaceful community.

“We have been mandated to coordinate and cooperate closely with our partners and stakeholders during the implementation of the SALW program here in Basilan,” said Brigadier General Domingo Gobway, Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) -Basilan .

Gobway also warned the public that those who disobey legal orders under the program will face the consequences of loose gun hoarding.

Since January, JTF-Basilan has recovered 170 firearms in its campaign against the proliferation of unlicensed weapons in the province.

“This commendable achievement is worthy of praise and distinction,” said Vinluan.

“With the implementation of the SALW program as a new strategy to win peace in Basilan, we expect more firearms to be handed over to government forces,” Vinluan added. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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