MORE THAN 300 firearms seized by the troops of the 4th Infantry Division were destroyed at its headquarters in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP), spearheaded the ceremonial demilitarization of 316 firearms held at the Alcoseba Hall of the headquarters of the 4ID in Camp Evangelista, Barangay Patag.
The firearms were captured and recovered by the troops from the period of February to December 2020.
Maj. Francisco Garello Jr., the 4ID spokesman, said 88 were standard firearms that were beyond economical repair and 228 were non-standard firearms. Non-standard firearms refer to firearms that are not in the AFP’s inventory
The CSAFP is on his farewell visit at the headquarters of the 4ID/Joint Task Force Diamond (JTFD). He was warmly welcomed with full military honors by the officers and enlisted personnel of the JTFD led by Maj. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., the 4ID commander.
In his statement, Faustino said that the demilitarization of CCSR firearms is conducted as part of a procedure that will ensure that these firearms will not be used anymore for other purposes.
He said, “The demilitarization of firearms is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to end the local communist armed conflict by destroying the very instruments used to propagate terrorism against our people.”
He also emphasized that the effort to entice CTG members to surrender is continually undertaken as the AFP is collaborating with other government agencies in advancing the E-CLIP.
“Bukas ang ating AFP, everyone can interview the former rebels on how they were treated and how they are living normal lives right now. We are still offering the hand of peace to the members and leaders of the CTG. The government has the programs and instrumentalities to accept those who decide to surrender,” Faustino added.
Meanwhile, Brawner said that since January 2021, the 4ID was able to capture 151 high powered and low powered firearms during armed encounters, seize 77 high powered and low powered firearms from apprehended personalities and from arms caches, and further gain 170 high powered and low powered firearms from surrenderers.
“We will recommend the recent CCSR firearms for demilitarization in order to show to the general public that we will not allow the CTG to advocate violence, and intimidate and threaten innocent civilians with the said firearms,” Brawner added.
Demilitarization is the destruction of firearms by “cutting” its parts using a circular saw, whereby all firearm parts shall be rendered ineffective for use as a component or a complete firearm. Subsequently, the metal parts and scraps of demilitarized CCSR firearms must be finally disposed of through burning.
After the ceremonial demilitarization of the CCSR firearms, Brawner presented to the CSAFP the JTFD’s significant accomplishments followed by the awarding by the CSAFP of the battle streamers to the 402nd Infantry Brigade, 403rd Infantry Brigade, 26th Infantry Battalion, and 1st Special Forces Battalion for major accomplishments.
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