Military destroys 1,561 loose guns

The military destroyed on Thursday some 1,561 firearms and 55,730 magazine assemblies as part of its efforts to curb the proliferation of illegal and loose firearms in the country.

The firearms and magazines were either captured, confiscated, surrendered and recovered (CCSR) through legitimate military operations and community engagements from 2016.

“This program will significantly reduce the number of unserviceable CCSR firearms, and eventually dispose all unofficial and dilapidated weapons in the inventory of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines],” said AFP Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr. in a news statement read by AFP Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Erickson Gloria.

The ceremonial destruction was part of the 12th Founding Anniversary of the AFP Munitions Control Center (MCC), a unit primarily mandated for the accounting and destruction of CCSR firearms and magazines, which were determined as nonstandard, obsolete and beyond economical repair.

It also helps AFP units inspect and maintain their firearms and ensure the serviceability of their issued weapons.

“This translates to the 90 percent completion of the demilitarization program of the Philippine Army. Likewise, I would like to commend the AFP MCC for this successful demilitarization,” Collado said.

CCSR firearms and their various accessories go through a process of identification and verification. Those that will not be used as evidence in court and are not subjected to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program will not be destroyed and will be turned over to proper authorities.

Those with defaced serial numbers will undergo identification to determine its ownership, while all nonstandard items will be destroyed.

The AFP has an ongoing campaign to recover loose firearms as part of the effort to prevent and counter violent extremism in the country.

Last year, a total of 4,782 assorted unlicensed firearms were confiscated with the help of the local government executives, prominent political families and religious leaders in Mindanao.

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