NoCot village officials surrender arms to PH Army

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SURRENDERED FIREARMS. Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong (right), Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, and Lt. Colonel Rommel Mundala, 90th Infantry Battalion commander (left), inspects the high-powered firearms turned over by five barangay officials of Pikit, North Cotabato on Wednesday (July 21, 2021). Pikit Mayor Sumulong Sultan (2nd left, back) and another village official look on. (Photo courtesy of 602Bde)

PIKIT, North Cotabato – The military’s disarmament drive in the province continues to gain momentum as five local officials here turned over on Wednesday afternoon high-powered war materiel, including a homemade sniper rifle.

Pikit Mayor Sumulong Sultan led the five village chairpersons in turning over the unlicensed firearms collected from unauthorized persons to Brig. General Roberto Capulong, the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade (Bde) commander, during surrender rites at the Pikit town hall.

The surrendered firearms included one M14, one M79 grenade launcher, one rocket-propelled grenade launcher, one .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle, and one 60mm mortar tube.

“The absence of loose firearms in our municipality is tantamount to a lesser crime occurrence in the town of Pikit,” Sultan told reporters in an interview here Thursday.

In a separate interview, Capulong said the act demonstrated by the village officials is a clear manifestation of the support of the communities to the military’s disarmament campaign.

“We at the 602Bde only serves as a bridge leading to peace and development in the province,” Capulong said.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax R. Uy, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) has expressed elation on the gesture of the Pikit local officials.

“This is an effort that we, in the military can’t do alone. We need the initiative of the people and our government counterparts to voluntarily surrender their loose firearms,” he said.

The 6ID covers the province of Maguindanao, and also portions of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Sarangani, and Lanao del Sur provinces. (PNA)