Danao gun makers hope Digong can solve ‘century old’ problem

By Doris C. Bongcac February 12,2018

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte views the confiscated guns, tools and machines that were confiscated in Danao City during his visit at Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr., yesterday. Gun-makers are hoping that Digong will finally legalize their business and put an end to decades of uncertainty.
CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

DANAO City officials were banking on the support of two past presidents in making sure that their gun-making industry is legalized. So far, nothing much has happened.

This time, they are courting the support of President Rodrigo Duterte to address their “century old” concern: ensure the regulation of local gun-makers and making sure that the industry prospers.

“Dili siya maka prosper kay underground industry ra man gihapon. Dili maka daku ang industry if the gun makers are not placed under the shadows of the law,” said Councilor Jose Thadeus Roble Jr., head of the city council’s peace and order committee.

Roble said Mayor Ramonito “Nito” Durano III was hoping to get an audience with Duterte at last night’s gathering of Visayas and Mindanao governors and mayors held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City so he could personally solicit the president’s support on their campaign to legalize the city’s gun-making industry.

As of this writing, Cebu Daily News still could not confirm if Durano managed to speak with the president.

“Hopefully this administration will be the one to solve this century-old problem,” Roble told CDN in a phone interview.

Roble said that lack of regulation, results to the indiscriminate disposal of locally manufactured guns “because government is not able to control who to sell it to.”

On Sunday, elements from the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), the Danao City Police Station and the Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) raided a gun-manufacturing site in the mountain barangay of Masaba and confiscated assorted firearms and manufacturing equipment worth at least P1.5 million.

Senior Insp. Nazareno Emia, PIB deputy chief, said the firearms may be intended for use in the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Century-old industry

Roble said that gun-making in Danao started during World War II and continued to proliferate to date.

He said there had been an attempt in the 1990s to regulate gun makers by placing them under the Workers League of Danao Multipurpose Cooperative (World-MPC).

Roble said the cooperative was even issued a permit to manufacture firearms by the Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (Fessags) then. But their permit was no longer renewed because of the cooperative’s failure to comply with some of the requirements.

Since then, Roble said, locals continue to manufacture firearms in the comfort of their homes or in secluded barangays.

Roble said that during the administration of former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, city officials tried to make representations in behalf of local manufacturers.

He said that they never got the support of the Arroyo and Aquino administrations.

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