ANOTHER 20 loose firearms were formally turned over to other military authorities in Maguindanao province, a top military official said Thursday.

Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the ceremonial turnover of the firearms was held on Wednesday, March 14, and was spearheaded by Sultan Sa Barongis Mayor Ramdatu Angas.

Galvez said these included the following: two M-14 rifles; four Garand rifles; a Carbine; two Barrets caliber. 50; two M-79 grenade launchers; four rocket-propelled grenades; a Springfield; a homemade grenade launcher; an M-203 grenade launcher; and, two submachine guns.

Galvez said the firearms were turned over to the Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion in a ceremony held at the Sultan Sa Barongis municipal gymnasium.

“With the positive result of our campaign, we are confident that more local officials and the people of Mindanao will heed to the call of the government to end the proliferation of loose firearms in Mindanao. We are glad that we are receiving such positive response from our local government units and other sectors,” he said.

“This will pave the way for the cessation of hostilities and bring forth development in Mindanao,” he added.

The ceremonial turnover was witnessed by Brigadier General Bismarck Soliba, 1st Mechanize Infantry Brigade commander; Brigadier General Diosdado Carreon, 601st Infantry Brigade commander; and, Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director.

Galvez announced that the Joint Task Force Central has recovered a total of 179 loose firarms since January 1 until March 15, this year. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)