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Al-Barka officials pledge support to peace campaign in Basilan

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – Local government officials of the municipality of Al-Barka signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Small Arms and Light Weapons Program on July 9, 2021.

According to Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command, Al-Barka is the 10th municipality that vowed support to the SALW program of the government. 

The signing of MOU was held at the covered court of Barangay Magcawa, Al-Barka, and was witnessed by Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, Basilan Provincial Police Office Director Col. Rodrigo Maramo, 18th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Egverr Jonathan Abutin, and Basilan Governor Jim Hataman Salliman. 

In his message, Brig. Gen. Gobway commended the local government officials of Al-Barka for leading the way towards peace and harmony in the battle-stricken municipality.

“I am very pleased to see the sincerity of the local leaders to support our peaceful mechanisms and actively participate in our campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms,” said Brig. Gen. Gobway.

Among those who participated in the signing of MOU are the elected municipal and barangay officials of Al-Barka led by Mayor Darussalam Lajid. 

During the activity, Lt. Col. Abutin together with Mayor Lajid presented 9 loose firearms that were voluntarily surrendered by civilians from the different barangays of the said municipality.

The turned-over firearms include two M16 rifles both with M203 Grenade Launcher, six M1 Garand rifles, and one Shotgun. 

“The Western Mindanao Command is very grateful to the local government units and the peace-loving people of Mindanao for their overwhelming support to all our endeavors,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. 

“I commend the hardworking officers and personnel of JTF Basilan for recovering a total of 155 loose firearms from January 2021 to date. Let us continue to work doubly to sustain the peace in the communities,” the commander added. (EDT/RVC/AFP)

About the Author

Rene Carbayas

Assistant Regional Head

Region 9

Media practitioner, a teacher by profession, an advocate for youth, peace and environment, culture and the arts, playwright and theater artist, earned his Masters Degree in Theater at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and pursued studies in public administration at Western Mindanao State University. Some 18 years in public service and today as Assistant Regional Director of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.

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