The Naval Forces Western Mindanao’s (NFWM)operating units composed of Navy SEALS and Naval Intelligence together with the Joint Task Force-Basilan (JTF Basilan) and the Army’s 101st Brigade successfully facilitated the surrender of loose firearms to the government forces on June 7, 2022 at the Headquarters of the JTF Basilan / 101st Brigade Philippine Army at Fuego-Fuego, Barangay Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan.
The operation is in line with the implementation of JTF Basilan’s Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Program in partnership with the provincial government of Basilan.
According to NFWM Public Affairs Office (PAO), the loose firearms consisted of one (1) Unit Garand, one (1) home-made shotgun with 14 live ammunition and one (1) magazine, and one (1) cal.38 pistol with five (5) live ammunition that were surrendered by three (3) residents of Tabuan-Lasa, Basilan.
The surrendered firearms were presented to Col Frederick M Sales PA(MNSA), the Deputy Commander of JTF-Basilan and Deputy Brigade Commander of the 101st Brigade, and safely kept at the Brigade for proper documentation and appropriate disposition.
The implementation of the SALW program is an initiative of the national government through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Joint Normalization Committee. SALW Program aims to restrict the movement and manage the number of loose firearms in communities which are among the leading causes of violence in far-flung areas.
The surrenderees of the firearms will be enrolled as beneficiaries of the government’s livelihood program. These livelihood packages are expected to encourage more individuals to surrender their loose firearms in the province. (Cecil Abuy)