Top PNP officers charged in gun deal


PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome. Photo by Matikas Santos/

Sixteen top officers and personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were charged yesterday with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the purchase of 59,904 firearms amounting to P1.198 billion.

Charged were Director General Nicanor Bartolome, in his capacity as PNP chief, Deputy Director General Emelito Sarmiento, Directors Arnulfo Perez, Felipe Rojas, Roque Ramirez and Catalino Uy;  Chief Supt. Francisco Uyami Jr., Senior Superintendents Edwin Roque, Percival Placer and Alexandra Pumecha and Antonino Cirujales,  Superintendents Marlon Gnilo and Roman Merin Jr.,  Chief Insp. Jinky Acacio, SPO4 Nonelon Sabigan and NUP Bernardo Sube.

Sarmiento was the chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), with members Perez, Ramirez, Rojas and Uyami. Gnilo, Merin, Pumecha, Sabigan and  Sube were members of the PNP Technical Working Group (TWG).

In an affidavit-complaint, losing bidders Romulo Maningding, a former police colonel representing Roferma Enterprises, and Peter Go Cheng of Kolonwel Trading accused the respondents of grave misconduct and causing undue injury to the government by awarding to the second highest bidder the contract for the delivery of 9mm pistols for the country’s 148,000 policemen.

The graft charges were described as a “positive development” by the PNP “since we will have a formal venue to show that the procurement of the pistols was aboveboard and followed the principle of transparency,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. told reporters.

“We respect their right to file a complaint if they feel aggrieved. But we did not violate the law. We are ready to face and answer their allegations,” Cerbo said.

Losers given chance

He also stressed that the PNP gave the complainants and other losing bidders a chance to file their respective motions for reconsideration and discuss their grievances with the BAC.

The BAC was charged with several counts of grave misconduct for abusing its authority to recover the cost of the production of the bidding documents when it required each interested bidder to buy the documents at P275,000.

The complainants said the steep price dissuaded most suppliers from participating and diminished the open and competitive nature of the bidding process.

“While a public bidding involves competition and the consequent  element  of  chance, not everybody was keen to lose P275,000 before it could even engage in the competition,” read the complaint.

Despite the steep price, seven suppliers  purchased the bidding documents, only for the BAC to change the scope and subject of the bidding itself after the purchase, the complaint said.

It added that the change at a late stage prejudiced the suppliers who had bought the bidding documents for the supply of pistols only, and contributed, in one way or another, to the non-participation in the actual bidding by three of the seven bidders who had paid for bidding documents.

The complaint further said the BAC also exceeded its authority by requiring the bidders to submit sample pistols even before the submission of bids, among other things, “thereby compromising the level playing field.”

The different bids


The  bid of P973,679,616 of the Joint Venture of  R. Espenile and Israel Weapons Industries was ranked the lowest calculated bid; the joint venture of Trustrade and Glock Asia Pacific Ltd.  offered the second lowest bid of P997,997,045.76;  the third lowest bid was  the P1,064,979,534.00 offered by Joint Venture of Countermeasures Equipages & Security Technologies Inc., Kolonwel Trading and Ceska Zbrojovka A. S., while the highest bid of P1,197,960,129, was submitted by Arms Corporation of the Philippines.

The presence at the prebid conference and the opening of bids of resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, who was not even a member of the BAC, was also assailed in the complaint, which noted that on July 5, 2012, Puno called the representatives of four bidders to a meeting in Camp Crame to talk about their bids.

The lowest bidder, the joint venture of  R. Espenile and Israel Weapons Industries, was later disqualified by the BAC for insufficiency of certain documents. The BAC did not allow it to rectify the perceived deficiency, the complaint said.

The BAC then proceeded to test immediately the firearm samples submitted by the joint venture of Trustrade and Glock Asia Pacific Ltd., the second lowest bidder.

The endurance test on the Glock firearms on July 19, appeared in the newspapers, with the picture of no less than Bartolome standing in the booth of Trust Trade and Glock at the Gun Exhibit at SM Megamall.

“The picture unavoidably sent, intended or not, a subliminal message to the PNP personnel conducting the test that he was endorsing the Glock firearm,” the complaint said. With a report from Marlon Ramos

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • tagalinis

    Ugaling Pilipino talaga! Kung sino ang talunan, siya ang reklamador, tulad din sa eleksiyon ng mga politiko, hehehe…

  • Jimmy

    Sa totoo lang eh mura yong mga nabiling baril ng PNP..! Yong mga nagdemanda ay duda akong mananalo sila dahil transparent naman yong bidding..!!! Kung sila ay nangugulo lamang eh dapat ay sila ang makulong..!

  • Don Caparros

    What are they complaining about?  275k for the right to bid for a 1 billion pesos is cheap and reasonable.

  • Nic Legaspi

    I’m more interested in the botched rifle bidding which was around double in overpricing.

  • Jeremiah_CheGuevara

    seems the complaint has basis for it to prosper. Not everything was above board it seems.

  • Russell Ariola

    Hehee.. Nung panahon kasi nila, ginagawa kasi ni pandak kaya sunod sunuran din sila.

    En pak, barya lang yung mga tirada nila kumpara sa nakurakot ni pandak mula sa mga white envelope.

  • Hey_Dudes

    With non-stop problems plaguing just about every branches of government, maybe it is time to call in the Boy Scouts?  Maybe these young fellows will do a better job.

    • kebinkosme

      Boy Scouts? Who? Jejomar Binay?

  • MangDolphy

    Sa laki nga naman ng transaksyon, kahit 10% lang, 100 million piso ang paghahatian. Kahit limampung opisyal pa ang mag hati-hati, parang tumama sa Deal or No Deal ang bawat isa. Kung kasali ka sa grupo, syempre deny to death ka. Code of Silence, kumbaga. Kelangan siguro imbestigahan talaga ito ng maigi. Kasi kung may kabulastugang nangyari sa bidding, para na rin di sila kasali sa kampanyang Tuwid na Daan ni PNoy.

    • Jacque Toto

      Dagdag ko na rin mang dolphy na classmates yong 3 sa PMA, si Bartolome, Sarmiento at Perez, o di ba magandang kombinasyon yon! Siguro naman ma-gets na nila ibig ko sabihin…

  • mikerocky

    The complaint is on its face without merit for the grounds enunciated therein are all in RA 9184 and are well within the discretion of the BAC to perform. The fact that the complainants resorted to filing administrative charges instead of resolving their concerns within the provisions of the Procurement law reveals their sour-graping disposition. This is a clear example of private citizens abusing their right to complain against government personnel through an administrative complaint.

  • $14334231

    this is probably a step for these people to “sing” about rico puno….i hope it gets through and someone speaks the truth about puno’s inclusion on this matter….

  • Tama Lang

    In case the court finds no merit to the accusations, those who filed the case should pay all the court expenses and reasonable renumerations to the PNP for the time wasted attending to the case.

  • Lolo Mo

    Paano hindi magkaka-corruption sa PNP, isang damukal ang Filipino-Chinese Generals sa organization nila. Puno is also a Filipino Chinese. Corruption is in their blood. In Mainland China, thousands of Chinese government officials were purge and executed because of corruption charges. The student populace and the general public was up in arms because of government corruptions. Millions went to the street. They were not against Communism per se, but they were against government corruption. 

    Chinese and corruption are but one.

    • xmb458

       The problem in the Philippines is:  these so called militants are there in the streets shouting and fighting for the obnoxious chinese. Did they raised a hoot when these tsekwa invaded and still continue to invade and ransack the scarborough shoals and other islands that belongs to the Philippines? NO! NEVER!… They are all there marching and shouting at the gates of US embassy…. denouncing the presence of a US warship just watching, not ransacking nor fishing at the vicinity!   hahah 

  • ofw_888

    hintayin nalang natin ang korte maglabas ng kaukulang desisyon sa kaso. lalabas din naman ang totoo kung sino nagsasabi ng totoo. transparent dapat sa bawat transaksyon ng gobyerno. yan ang mahalaga para walang pagdududa ang taumbayan. period. 

  • Dynamic

    they have just confiscated my comments here…

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Do not leave any stone unturn! lahat ng mga kinasuhan bulatlatin ang record at ipadaan sa lifestyle check! busisiin ang lahat ng mga assets and liabilities nila at pati mga pamilya!

    • c

       ate/kuya: unturned hindi unturn. sakit lang sa tenga kasi heheh.

  • rem1911

    In fairness to the PNP the prices of the Glock they purchased is very cheap. Try to look for the price of the same weapon in google. But, of course if there was really a problem with the process people should face the consequences. But for the price and the weapon itself its really a bargain..

  • Ronald D

    Maging sincere naman sana kayo sa inyong trabaho…ang sambayanang pilipino ay nangangailangan ng pagbabago para sa atin lahat at hindi lang para sa iilan. Pwede ba kalimutan nyo na ang ugaling “pangungurako?”.  Para sa mga nanunungkulan sa gov’t hindi ba kayo nangarap ng pagbabago para naman umunlad na ang bansa natin???


  • Lolo Mo

    Paano hindi makukurap ang PNP, isang damukal na Filipino-Chinese Generals ang nasa PNP! Si Puno, Filipino-Chinese din! Hindi ba ninyo alam na nasa Chinese blood ang corruption and greed? In mainland China, during the purge, thousands of Chinese government officials were executed because of corruption. Millions of Chinese populace went to the street to demonstrate against the corruption in their country, that was time of dengshopeng. 

  • Lolo Mo

    Bakit hindi na disqualify ang R. Espenile and Israel Weapons Industries eh kulang pala ang documents? Tapos, minadali ang processing, sila parin ang panalo? Si Puno, bakit na sa Israel din noong panahon na yon. Does it not ring a bell that PNoy’s KKK ARE NO EXCEPTION TO CORRUPTION? Sana, hindi ma swept under the rug ang complaint sa Ombudsman. Remember, it was PNoy who appointed Conchita Carpio Morales. Just hope she will not show her partiality by way of being beholden to PNoy. This will be a crucial and acid test on her integrity.

    Kung hindi sufficient ang document submitted ng R. Espenile and Israel Weapons Industries, di ang ibig sabihin, disqualified! There is no more further argument. GUILTY AS CHARGE! PATI SI PUNO, SABIT DIN EVEN IF HE RESIGNED. 

  • Lolo Mo


    • Edwin Edwin

      yan ang hirap sa kagaya mong hindi nagbabasa, walang alam…..

  • RyanE

    The cost of each pistol is about PHP 20K. I think it is fair enough. It could be more of sour graping on the side of the losing bidders.

    • Jezzrel

      The cost of each pistol is about PHP 20K” the said prize is applicable for single unit, i’m pretty sure, they have a special prize when buying in bulk….but anyway, business is business, just hope that only the supplier makes money and no under the table transaction with our gov’t reps… :)

      • GustoKoHappyKa

        in fairness sa PNP..mura na yung nakuha nila na price ng Glock..

  • Jezzrel

    Ang mahal naman ng presyo ng Armscor…..

  • Opel

    pure technicality, the supply contract is in the billion, a supplier who cannot even afford to pay up 270t for the bidding documents will have no ability to supply the volume and quality of the guns to be procured. the average amount per guns runs only to about 17t if you buy it outside its over 40t. tipid na yan. Ito lang ata ang matinong bidding ng PNP.

  • Jhune

    Let the PNP official to clear there innocence and let the public knows the outcome of the case. The Filipino tax payers are affordable to have a clean government.  

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos