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Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – September 10, 2022

Twenty-two loose high-powered firearms were formally turned over to the military in the municipality of Hadji Mohammad Ajul (HMA), Basilan Province on September 9, 2022. HMA Mayor Talib Pawaki handed over the high-powered firearms to Joint Task Force Basilan/101st Infantry Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway in Barangay Buton, same municipality at 10 a.m. Friday.

Mayor Pawaki said that the firearms were surrendered by individuals from the different barangays of the municipality. Turned over were 16 cal. 30mm Garand rifles, three cal. 30mm Carbine rifles, one cal. 5.56mm M16 A1 rifle, one cal. 5056mm M4 rifle, and one M79 Grenade Launcher.

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According to Brig. Gen. Gobway, the undertaking was a result of the relentless campaign against loose firearms of the 4th Special Forces Battalion and the municipal local government unit of HMA. This is in connection with the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) program of the provincial government of Basilan.

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Since the implementation of the SALW program in Basilan, a total of 4, 191 assorted firearms were already stenciled and 85 individuals availed of the livelihood package in exchange for their surrendered firearms.

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr. commended the officers and personnel of JTF Basilan for this accomplishment. “With the positive results of our campaign, we are confident that more local officials and the people of Mindanao will heed the call of the government to end the proliferation of loose firearms in the region,” Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. expressed.

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