The Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) seized high-powered guns near the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Pikit town, North Cotabato on Friday.
This was after Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, the 6ID commander, directed the 90th Infantry Battalion (90IB) and all other military units in the province to remain on alert for possible retaliatory attacks from insurgents or terrorists.
At about 2 p.m. Friday, elements of 90IB, while manning a checkpoint at the entrance of the municipal hall grounds in Pikit, noticed two firearms displayed in plain view at the back of a pick-up vehicle while approaching the government compound.
When asked, the driver and his passenger failed to present documents legalizing the possession and transport of high-powered guns.
More firearms were recovered inside the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
Soldiers recovered four M16 A1 rifles, 27 long magazines, one short magazine, 850 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, three bandoleers, and one caliber .45 pistol with six magazines and 45 rounds of ammunition.
“Our troopers noticed that the vehicle occupants were uneasy,” Uy said.
Uy, also the commander of Joint Task Force Central, said the driver and owner of the Toyota pick-up truck was identified as Benjamin Mantol alias Datu Mama, the village chief of Talitay, Pikit, North Cotabato.
The military turned him over to the Pikit municipal police for custody.Charges for violation of the election gun ban and Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) are being prepared against Mantol and his companions.