Puno at the NBI? No way!By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Reports about where President Benigno Aquino III would transfer Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno after taking him out of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) flew thick and fast Monday.
One report in a text message said: (Nonnattus Caesar) Rojas out, Usec Rico Puno in as NBI Director.
I asked Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa whether the report was true.
“No,” was Ochoa’s curt reply.
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I’m sure newly-appointed DILG Secretary Mar Roxas would not disapprove of the appointment of Director General Nick Bartolome, currently chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), as Puno’s replacement.
Bartolome is a noncontroversial and self-effacing PNP chief. He’ll make an excellent No. 2 man at the DILG and would not give Roxas any problems; unlike Puno was to the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
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Now that the President himself has stopped the purchase of Israeli-made assault rifles for the PNP because of an apparent gross overprice, he might consider assault rifles made by local manufacturers.
Imagine, P80,000 per unit of the assault rifles the PNP was to have bought under Puno’s instructions when the President found out that an assault rifle sells below $1,000!
The price of P80,000 per unit is nearly twice more than the $1,000 (at P42 to $1 of the current exchange rate) that the PNP could have bought from other sources.
Why doesn’t Aquino give local gun manufacturers a chance to prove their worth by testing their assault rifles?
One such gun manufacturer is United Defense Manufacturing Corp. (UDMC) whose M-4 assault rifles are recommended by the Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog), our counterpart of the US Navy Seals.
The UDMC’s pneumatic valve and rod (PVAR) gas operated M-4 rifle is far superior to the M-16 assault rifles currently being used by the Armed Forces, according to the Navsog.
The Navsog conducted a series of tests on PVAR assault rifles and found that it had the following features: It fired all types of 5.56 mm ammunition regardless of projectile weight, it had minimal muzzle flash and it had reduced recoil.
The US-made M-16 rifle doesn’t have those features.
Being a gun enthusiast, the President knows what I’m saying.
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Why did Puno, who was in charge of procuring rifles for the PNP, leave out local gun manufacturers like UDMC in the testing and bidding process?
He probably didn’t believe that locally-made assault rifles are as good as—if not better than—foreign-made ones.
If Puno was informed about the Navsog’s findings on UDMC’s assault rifles, he probably wouldn’t have gone far in looking for assault rifles for the PNP.
If he was looking for a cheaper but better assault rifles than the foreign brands, Puno would have chosen the UDMC-made ones.
That’s for sure.
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Puno didn’t have anything to do with the purchase of the Glock 17, Generation 4, 9 mm pistol.
The Glock deal was very transparent. The handgun underwent intense punishment during a four-day test, with very minor glitches.
President Noy was right when he said the critics of the deal didn’t know what they were talking about when they claimed that the pistol overheated.
At 5,000 fired continually in one day, which pistol would not overheat?
Glock is used by 6 out of 10 police departments in the US.
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