CAMP MELCHOR F. DELA CRUZ, Isabela - A total of 73 high-powered firearms, including an M-60 sub-machine gun, were surrendered anew by the members of the Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) this week to the Philippine Army, here.
The surrender of the firearms was the result of the all-out initiative of Major General Joel P. Ibañez, Commanding General of the Army's 5th Infantry Division, with the support of the police and the stakeholders in the implementation of the Executive Order (EO) 49 signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on July 19, 2011 mandating the implementation of the Closure Agreement towards the CPLA's final disposition of arms and forces and its transformation into a potent socio-economic and unarmed force.
Colonel Loreto Magundayao, spokesman of the army's 5th Infantry Division, said the turnover ceremony for 70 firearms was held last Wednesday.
Major General Ibañez and Chief Superintendent Benjamin B. Magalong, Cordillera Region Police Director, administered the formal rite of the surrender at the headquarters of the army's 5th Division at Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela.
Meanwhile, another three high-powered firearms including a M-60 submachine gun were surrendered by the CPLA members last Tuesday night at the headquarters of the army's 5th Division.
This brings to 131 the total number of high-powered firearms surrendered to the army's 5th division headquarters within two-month period through the initiative of Major General Ibañez.
Coinciding with the turnover rites of the firearms was the integration of another 51 sons and daughters of CPLA members to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said Magundayao.