PNP chief signs P1.2-B gun dealBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The dream of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arm each and every policeman in the country has finally become a reality.
Shrugging off allegations of irregularities in the deal, PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome on Thursday approved the award of the P1.2-billion contract for the purchase of about 60,000 service pistols to the winning bidder.
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., the PNP spokesperson, said Bartolome signed the agreement between the PNP and the joint venture of Trust Trade and its partner Glock Asia Pacific after the PNP legal team completed its evaluation and review of the procurement documents.
“This is the first time that our policemen will (be able to meet our requirement for) short firearms 100 percent,” Bartolome said in a press conference.
Good time for cops
“This is a good time for our policemen to have their own firearms because they have been in need of these,” he said.
The PNP currently has 85,689 service pistols issued to 143,104 police personnel.
Director Arnulfo Perez, the PNP logistics chief, said that after the PNP completes its current procurement program, it will have a total of 172,289 short firearms in its inventory.
“There will be enough handguns to arm all 148,000 PNP personnel on active duty and new police recruits joining the force in the next couple of years, with enough reserves to compensate for breakage and losses,” Perez said.
Bartolome said the purchase of the handguns, which he described as a “landmark procurement program,” was “the biggest in recent years and most advantageous for government.”
“This particular procurement program … shall henceforth set the standard for transparency and accountability in future procurement programs (in the PNP),” he said in a statement.
Under the contract, Trust Trade and Glock Asia Pacific will deliver a total of 59,904 units of Glock 17 Generation 49 mm pistols within 570 days after the signing of the agreement.
Cerbo said Bartolome affixed his signature to the documents in front of the members of the PNP command group, led by Deputy Director General Emelito Sarmiento, and the members of the bids and awards committee (BAC).
Bartolome said he ordered the PNP’s lawyers to closely study and review “all the aspects of the procurement process” to ensure that the contract complied with the existing procurement laws and procedures.
“After all the requirements were completed and the procedures complied with, the contract has been signed,” the PNP chief said.
The purchase of the firearms was funded from the budget that the PNP received for its Capability Enhancement Program, whose goal is to provide handguns to all 148,000 police officers.
Sarmiento said Bartolome approved the notice of award to Trust Trade after the winning bidder’s Glock 9 mm pistols passed the stringent nine-step test set by the PNP and the National Police Commission.
The PNP considered the Trust Trade joint venture’s offer after the original winning bidder, R. Espineli and its partner, the Israel Weapons Industry, were disqualified for failing to comply with the post-documentary requirements.
Espineli submitted the lowest bid to supply the PNP with Jericho handguns for P974 million, which would have saved the government some P216 million.
Trust Trade and Glock Asia Pacific offered the second lowest bid of P997 million.
After Bartolome’s approval of the contract, the BAC will issue a notice to proceed in the next three days to allow Trust Trade to start production of the pistols, Cerbo said.
Trust Trade is supposed to deliver the first batch of 12,000 pistols in February 2013, he said.
“Thereafter, two succeeding deliveries are due every 120 calendar days and two more deliveries in the last 180 days of the delivery period,” he said.
“As provided in the supply contract, each (handgun) comes in a complete set with two spare clips, cleaning kit, user’s manual, carrying case and a basic load of 28 rounds of 9 mm ammunition,” he said.
Sarmiento, who chairs the BAC, said the PNP may buy 12,000 more pistols from the P200-million savings it generated from the gun deal.
Perez said that with the approval of the Trust Trade contract, the PNP is acquiring “a standard police handgun similar to modern handguns used by 60 percent of police forces in America, Europe and Asia,” and the police are assured of “uniformity and interchangeability of parts” with the handguns issued to them.