OZAMIZ CITY -- More than 300 firearms have now been surrendered by village officials and private individuals to the police, Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, Ozamiz City police chief, said.
Espenido said the surrender of the "loose" or unregistered firearms was in response to the police’s call urging barangay councils to help improve the law and order of Ozamiz City.
"The deadline given is flexible enough to give those who are still reluctant a chance to surrender their loose firearms. We (will give) due considerations to those who have not yet decided but the rule of law will prevail," Espenido said.
The controversial police chief said search and arrest warrants will be served in "due time" to those who have already been identified but seem to be uncooperative.
Barangay Embargo chairperson Alvina Pototan of Barangay Embargo whose husband is a member of the Barangay Council voluntarily surrendered three loose firearms including an M-16 rifle given by slain Ozamiz City mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.
The M-16 rifle was given by the late Ozamiz City Mayor Renaldo Parojinog Sr. some time in 1980s to be used to fight against communist rebels.
The slain mayor’s late father, Octavio Parojinog, founded the Kuratong Baleleng in the 1980s as an anti-communist group.
Pototan urged other village officials to also turn over their firearms to the police, especially those given by the Parojinogs.
Meanwhile, City Councilor Irene Luansing assumed her post Monday as Acting City Mayor of Ozamiz City and has been duly recognized by the Department of Interior and Local Government here.
Luansing said the operation of the local government was not hampered because they were able to put in place the leadership succession as provided by law.
The third Councilor Michael Tagal has also assumed his position as an Acting City Vice Mayor.