KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 26 June) – At least 13 high-powered guns and hundreds of ammunition were turned over to the Army and Police in North Cotabato by relatives of a former barangay chairman in Magpet town Monday afternoon, reports said.
Julie Dinampo-Fajatin, younger sister of ex-chairman Renado Dinampo of Barangay Tagbak, Magpet, told authorities here they don’t want a repeat of what happened in August 2017 where a number of New People’s Army guerillas raided the chairman’s house and seized at least 10 of his firearms.
“We know our brother has been keeping these guns for so long a time. This is giving us chills. We fear for our lives,” said Fajatin.
Dinampo died last April 28 due to a lingering illness.
Two months after his death, his relatives decided to surrender the guns and ammunition the chairman had kept since 2000.
Fajatin explained that when Dinampo was elected as barangay chairman, he purchased these guns and ammunition to drive the rebels away.
Barangay Tagbak is among the areas in Magpet considered “infiltrated” by the NPAs, according to the Army.
Dinampo, according to Fajatin, was number one critic of the NPA.
In August 2017, the rebels, who posed as buyers of the guns, raided Dinampo’s house at Barangay Sudapin here and confiscated 10 high-powered firearms, according to Fajatin.
The rebels were onboard luxury vehicles when they arrived at their target. They, however, did not inflict harm on Dinampo, Fajatin added.
The firearms the Dinampos yielded to the Army on Monday included M16, M14, M1 Garand rifles, Carbines, grenade launchers, and hundreds of ammunition, an official from the 19th Infantry Battalion said.
The guns were all unlicensed and are considered loose firearms, according to the police.
The guns and ammunition had reportedly been placed under the custody of the Army. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)