PNP chief admits lapses in P1-B gun license dealBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome admitted there were “administrative lapses” in the award of a P1 billion contract for firearm license cards to a firm in 2009 but stopped short of saying the deal might have to be scrapped.
“It might be modified but not necessarily canceled,” he said of the deal awarded to Nanjing Industrial Tools and Equipment Co. for the printing of firearm license cards for police officers and security guards over a 15-year period.
“We found that there were lapses in administrative procedures that were violated at the time … But there were remedies on this immediately,” he said in a press conference following the induction of officers of the PNP Press Corps at Camp Crame.
Bartolome said there might have to be a “gradual phasing” of the services contracted to Nanjing, considering that the terms of the contract stated that premature termination of the contract would allow the firm to pull out all its materials and equipment.
He said this might lead to delays in the printing of the license cards, thus prompting the PNP to submit a “counter-proposal” to the service provider. But he did not give details.
Bartolome said he would submit to Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo the final recommendation of the PNP on what to do with the contract by June 15, the deadline set by Robredo for the PNP to make a decision.
On May 30, he said he submitted a report to Robredo detailing three options that the PNP might take regarding the contract, but he declined to reveal what these were.
Bartolome said he welcomed the move of Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez who filed a House resolution directing the House committee on public order and safety to open an inquiry into the controversial 15-year contract.
“We welcome this development so we can put this [controversy] to a close,” he said.
The deal was signed in March 2010 by the PNP under then Director General Jesus Verzosa and then Director for Logistics Luizo Ticman, and Romeo Macapinlac, president of Nanjing.
Under the 15-year agreement, Nanjing was to supply license cards for the firearms of police officers, security guards and gun holders for P150 each.
Based on the DILG legal office’s computation, Nanjing has been printing an average of 21,818 cards per month for the Firearms and Explosive Division and 20,245 cards per month for the PNP’s Supervisory Office for Security Agencies, meaning the contract could be worth P1.1357 billion.