TACLOBAN CITY– Police Regional Director, B/Gen. Reynaldo Pawid led the demilitarization or the complete destruction of 56 surrendered firearms from former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the region on May 31.

The demilitarization process involves deforming or cutting the firearms into multiple pieces, rendering them permanently inoperable, before incinerating their metal components and scraps.

“Today’s demilitarization of surrendered firearms symbolizes our government’s unwavering commitment to ending the insurgency by eliminating the very instruments that perpetuate armed conflict,” Pawid said during the demilitarization process at the police regional headquarters in Palo, Leyte.

“By working together, we actively contribute to the realization of a nation where peace and order prevail, thereby fostering an environment conducive to economic growth and development,” he added.

Out of the 56 surrendered firearms, 16 units were turned over by the Philippine Army’s 8th Forward Service Support Unit, while the remaining 40 units were surrendered by former rebels and violent extremist groups to various units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police units within the Samar region.

The firearms include eight 7.62mm caliber rifles, eight 5.56mm caliber M16 rifles, four homemade rifles, two 30mm M1 Garand rifles, four homemade shotguns, 15 .45 caliber pistols, two 9mm pistols, 10 .38 caliber revolvers, two .357 revolvers, and one .22 caliber pistol.

The former rebels who are holders of these firearms have received financial and livelihood assistance as outlined in the policies and guidelines of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), it added.

The demilitarization of the surrendered firearms, through the Firearms and Explosive Ammunition Disposal Committee (FEADC), was duly approved by the former Philippine National Police chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. on October 18, 2023. (RONALD O.REYES)