GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews)– The anti-terrorism campaign and efforts to ensure public safety in Region 12 received a big boost with the distribution of 200 new Chinese-made M-16 rifles to police personnel across the region.
Chief Supt. Cedrick Train, Police Regional Office-12 (PRO-12) director, confirmed Wednesday the M-16 rifles manufactured by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) have been turned over to various Provincial Public Safety Companies (PPSC) in the region.
A 7.62 mm Dragunov sniper rifle was also distributed to the Regional Public Safety Battalion-12, he added.
“These firearms and ammunition package will be a big help in PRO-12’s capability build up and in enhancing security measures,” Train said.
Twenty-nine M-16 rifles were distributed to the South Cotabato PPSC, 25 pieces to the Sultan Kudarat PPSC, 40 pieces to the Sarangani PPSC, 26 pieces to the North Cotabato PPSC and 40 pieces to the General Santos City public safety company, said Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., PRO-12 spokesperson.
Included in the distribution were three reloading machines for the police stations in the cities of Kidapawan, Tacurong and Koronadal, he added.
Galso said 72,000 rounds of ammunition and 400 magazines accompany the 200 units of Norinco M-16 rifles.
The 7.62 mm Dragunov sniper rifle goes with 400 rounds and three magazines, Galgo said.
Train thanked the Philippine National Police (PNP) higher headquarters for beefing up PRO-12’s security capability.
He said the distribution of the M-16 rifles was part of PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s campaign to fight terrorism and criminality across the country.
The distribution of the new M-16 and sniper rifles came on the heels of the deployment of hundreds of new cops across the region.
Last month, about 500 new cops joined the Region 12 police force.
Train said that 378 men and 111 women, or a total of 489, have taken their oath as PNP members in Region 12 after surviving the rigid police officers’ training.
“They are expected to serve and protect the people from whom they derived their power and authority to enforce the laws of the land without fear or favor,” the official said.
“They are (tasked) to look after the general welfare of the people and ensure that peace and order is maintained at all times, and act as the protector of the weak, defender of the innocent and advocates of human rights,” he added. Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews