A total of 120 assorted high-powered loose firearms were handed over to Joint Task Force Central by the local government of Datu Paglas on June 22, 2020.
The ceremony, held at the municipal gymnasium of Datu Paglas, was spearheaded by Mayor Abubakar Paglas and JTF Central Commander Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon.
“We fully support the campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the national government against loose firearms. We want our town to be peaceful and progressive as we continue to change this municipality from a battle area to an industrial and business-oriented one,” said Mayor Paglas.
Handed over were eighty two M16 assault rifles; twenty seven M14 rifles; one cal. 30 machine gun; six M203 grenade launchers; two M60 general purpose machine guns; one M79 grenade launchers; and one 12 gauge shotgun.
The ceremony was graced by Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, Commander, 601st Infantry Brigade; Lt. Col. Rogelio Gabi, Commanding Officer, 40th Infantry Battalion, and other invited guests.
“The successful handing over of firearms was a result of the strong collaboration between the 40th Infantry Battalion and the local government unit of Datu Paglas, anchored with the 601IBde’s campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms,” said Brig. Gen. Galido.
The local government of Datu Paglas has a total of ninety-seven Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) while La Fruitera Incorporated, a banana producing company owned by LGU-Datu Paglas has one hundred SCAA utilizing their personal firearms in maintaining peace and security in the whole municipality.
“I am extending my gratitude to the local government of Datu Paglas for the support as we fulfil our mandates here in Central Mindanao,” said Maj. Gen. Carreon.
“The SCAA, being our force multiplier, will continue their mandated duty in maintaining peace and security in this municipality,” Maj. Gen. Carreon added.
The turned-over loose firearms will be subjected to inspection and proper documentation by the Joint Task Force Central prior its distribution to the SCAA.
“With the support of the local government units and the people of Mindanao, we are continuously gaining grounds in our area of operation,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, WestMinCom Commander.
“Let us continue to work in unison as we journey towards the attainment of peace and progress in Mindanao while we support the government in its campaign to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana added.
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