By Artemio Dumlao
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Village leaders in at least two Abra towns – known as hotbeds of the so-called “gun culture” that has wrought endless violence in and out of the elections— have began giving up their hordes of guns.
Village leaders of Maoay, in Bangued, Abra’s capital town, headed by barangay Chairman Honorato Balla voluntarily surrendered one homemade cal. 22 rifle to Bangued policemen on August 19.
Two days later, Tineg poblacion and Agsimao barangay officials led by barangay Chairman Jayson Tingday turned over a Colt M16 Rifle (Baby Armalite) with serial number 655233.
Perhaps the start of “self-realization” to end the violence in the province and following the footsteps of provincial and town leaders earlier “depositing” their licensed firearms at the provincial police headquarters, village leaders are beginning to show examples also to their constituents, said Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong.
At least three dozens of high-powered rifles licensed to political leaders in Abra were earlier received by the Abra police for momentary “disarmament” until the 2013 polls, in a bid to curb or at least lessen gun-related violence in the province during the elections.