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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

ARMM gov pushes for gun amnesty in the region

by Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan, Jan 4 (PIA) –- Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) acting governor Mujiv Hataman took a step further in his campaign towards responsible gun ownership in line with its effort to account loose firearms in the region.

Hataman is pushing for the implementation of a special episode of the government’s amnesty for loose firearms in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as a proactive measure to restore peace and development in the 22-year old region.

With the plan, Hataman is set to convene the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) next month to discuss the special implementation of the amnesty program for loose firearms in the region.

ARMM Information chief Ali Macabalang disclosed that Hataman mentioned his proposal at a local media forum in Cotabato about possible solution to a widespread notion that the region has the largest number of loose firearms in the country, to include those in the procession of Moro rebels and political families.

“The existence of rido or family feuds in ARMM, mostly attributed to political conflicts and land disputes, has been largely involving individuals and groups wielding loose firearms,” Macabalang said.

According to moderate police and military estimates, ARMM teems with at least 20,000 loose firearms.

Hataman said the conduct of amnesty on loose firearms will mitigate gunowners of criminal liability and at the same time enable the government to have an accurate account of firearms in ARMM communities.

“Once given amnesty, loose gun holder may avail of another process for them to obtain a permit to carry the firearm outside his residence,” Hataman said, stressing though that stiff qualification is required of aspiring gunowner.

Hataman, who was installed to office as officer-in-charge (OIC)-governor in ARMM on Dec. 22, said he was “very confident” that the President will support his proposed conduct of a special gun amnesty in the region. (JPA/AGM/RVC-PIA9 ZBST)

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