The online news portal of TV5
Local officials in the province of Abra voluntarily surrendered their firearms to the Philippine National Police (PNP) as part of their commitment to ensure peaceful elections in 2013.
Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin led the local officials turning over their firearms, surrendering his 12-gauge shotgun and caliber 45 pistol to PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome.
A total of 43 high-powered firearms, 14 of them unregistered, were turned over by local officials to the PNP. Surrendered guns included high-powered assault rifles, shotguns, and other military-type weapons.
Bangued Mayor Ryan Luna and La Paz Mayor JV Bernos also gave up their respective firearms for "safekeeping" by the PNP.
The move to disarm was an initiative of Cordillera police authorities led by Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong.
"This is only the beginning of a series of understanding by the political leaders of the province," Bartolome said.
Bersamin assured of their full cooperation to the peace and order initiatives of the police.
"This small gesture of voluntary disarmament will not only preclude unwanted poliitical violence but will ensure lasting and durable peace in the province," Bersamin said.
Magalong said the surrendered firearms will be kept at the Abra Police Provincial Office in Bangued until the 2013 elections are over.
Abra is among the provinces with incidents of election-related violence.