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Lady mayor surrenders high-powered firearms

COTABATO CITY – Twenty-two high powered firearms were surrendered by Shariff Sayedona Mustapha Mayor Zandria Sinsuat-Ampatuan, wife of former provincial governor Sajid Ampatuan, to the military during a municipal peace and order council (MPOC) meeting last April 10.

This was disclosed by Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, spokesperson of the Sixth Infantry Division-left Task Force Central.
Besana said the lady mayor was accompanied by her husband, who is out on bail for his alleged involvement in the infamous Maguindanao massacre.

He said the Ampatuans yielded nine M79 grenade launchers, six Barret rifles, an RPG, a mortar, an M16-A1 rifle, a Garand rifle, one UZI, and one (1) carbine.

The turnover rite was witnessed by Brig. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon, head of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, and Lt. Col. Edgar L. Catu, commander the 40th Infantry Battalion.

Carreon and Catu were elated over the enthusiastic response of Maguindanao local government units towards the reinvigorated Balik Baril program, even as they vowed continuity in collection of loose firearms to reduce armed rifts in the province, Besana said.

Maj. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, chief of the 6th Infantry Division and head of the Task Force Central, said all the three infantry brigades, one mechanized brigade and a Marine brigade under his operational command have been tasked to closely coordinate with LGUs in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and parts of Lanao del Sur in the collection of loose firearms. (Ali Macabalang)

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