Mayor Nashiba Sumagayan of Taraka, Lanao del Sur leads Monday the turnover of 11 loose firearms to the Army's 49th Infantry Battalion as military authorities and the local government units collaborate efforts in the campaign against unlicensed guns. (Photo courtesy: Army's 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The municipal government of Taraka in Lanao del Sur has turned over 11 firearms of various calibers as the military continues its drive against loose firearms, a program that complements the government's effort to root out the Daesh-inspired Maute group in the province.
Taraka Mayor Nashiba Sumagayan led the ceremonial handover of the loose firearms around 2:30 p.m. Monday at the town hall to Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion commander.
The firearms consisted of a caliber .50 Barrett sniper rifle, an M-16 rifle, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and seven handguns.
“While our combat operation against Dawlah Islamiya is relentless, we will still continuously collaborate with local government units in our efforts for the surrender of loose firearms in our area of operation,” Col. Romeo Brawner, Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade commander, said.
“Likewise, we thank them for their trust and support to our troops in contributing peace and development in the whole province of Lanao del Sur,” Brawner added.
Military troops are continuously pursuing the remnants of the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired Maute group in the province of Lanao del Sur.
Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, Army’s 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops and the municipal government of Taraka for the successful hand over of the loose firearms.
“Collective effort of various stakeholders is very essential in the attainment of peace and prosperity in our area of operation,” Ancan added. (PNA)