Civilians turn over loose firearms in Tawi-Tawi town

Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2019 10:41 AM | Updated as of Feb 23 2019 05:31 PM

Residents surrender their unlicensed firearms to the Philippine Marines. Photo courtesy of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 6

SAPA-SAPA, Tawi-Tawi - Residents here surrendered several unlicensed firearms to the Philippine Marines, Friday morning.

According to a report from the Marine Battalion Landing Team 6, the surrender was made through efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Among the firearms surrendered were 13 pieces of M1 garand rifles, 3 caliber .38 pistols, 2 caliber .45 pistols, 2 M79 grenade launcher, 1 caliber .30 machine gun, an M16 A1 rifle and 1 M22 rifle.

Lt. Col. John Cortez, commanding officer of the Philippine Marines, said the surrender of loose firearms is a manifestation of owners’ willingness to cooperate and respect the rule of law. 

Cortez ordered his men to intensify the campaign on loose firearms and closely coordinate with proper authorities to maintain stability and peace in areas covered by his battalion. The firearms were placed under the custody of the Sapa-sapa Municipal Police Station.

Present during the turnover were Police Capt. Maiser Alijam, chief of the Sapa-sapa Municipal Police Station, and ABC President Ampusuhum Lipae. 

They all urged civilians who own unlicensed guns to adhere to Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.

The firearms turnover happened amid the ongoing election gun ban.