Firearm licensing amnesty sought
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Peace advocates are seeking an amnesty for firearm licensing for civilians in the Bangsamoro region to complement the decommissioning of Moro guerrillas.

Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces alone, there are more than 10,000 firearms in the hands of civilians, whose licenses have either been revoked for non-renewal or are due for renewal.

Police and military officials estimated that there are at least 20,000 firearms with revoked or expired licenses in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

BARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both located in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

BARMM officials said yesterday the region’s chief minister, Hadji Ahod Ebrahim, is in favor of a region-wide firearm registration amnesty program for civilians.

Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman of the lone district of Basilan said he would help convince the PNP to embark on such program.

Hataman suggested the BARMM government should work with Maj. Ben Dimayong, chief of the Bangsamoro regional civil security unit, in seeking the approval of the PNP.

“That is something good for the peace process,” Hataman said.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front will start next month the decommissioning of thousands of its members as part of keeping its peace agreement with the government.

BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO FIREARM LICENSING PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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