ZAMBOANGA CITY: Some 187 assorted firearms, mostly without permits, were the latest to be surrendered by local government officials and civilians in Sulu.
The weapons were turned over by civilians through their village and municipal officials in the towns of Talipao, Parang, Omar, Indanan, Maimbung, Jolo and Patikul after Gov. Totoh Tan urged illegal gun holders to surrender them, mostly used for protection against lawless elements.
Several politicians, including the mayors of Talipao, Nebukadnezar Tulawie and Madzfar Loong, of Parang; Hermont Jikiri of Indanan and several town vice mayors also turned over their firearms during a ceremony at a military base in Jolo.
Among the firearms surrendered to the military were automatic rifles, grenade launchers and handguns.
The Western Mindanao Command said over 600 illegal firearms had been recovered since January in Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga City, Sulu and Central Mindanao. It said all the weapons handed over to the military will undergo ballistic examination to determine whether these came from its arsenal.
Tan also urged civilians to turn over their weapons or secure permits from the police so they can legally own the firearms. “This [campaign]is part of the government’s efforts to recover illegal weapons and to make our community a gun-free society and a peaceful place to live in,” he said.