Buluan, Maguindanao — An estimate of 900 loose firearms were turned over during the launching of Maguindanao’s Balik-Baril Program (BBP) Wednesday afternoon.
BBP in the province started last February where Buldon town yielded 88 weapons. The latest in the series was last April 24, in Pandag town in Maguindanao where 22 loose firearms were surrendered to authorities.
During the turn-over ceremony held today, President Rodrigo Duterte said that violence is not taught in Islam. “Wala naman tayong mapupuntahan kung maguubusan tayo dito. Hindi ganoong Islam ang itinuro ng lola ko,” Duterte said.
BBP is a nationwide campaign aiming to retrieve loose firearms.
In the case of Maguindanao, those who surrendered their weapons were awarded various packages such as stalls, scholarship grants, and local textile (Inaul) weaving tools for their families.
Meanwhile, Maguindanao Provincial Governor Esmael Mangudadatu called for the participation of everyone in this campaign, saying “possession of guns only heightens ego of holders and increases their propensity to harm groups.” (Taj Basman)