12,000 cops to finally get guns

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PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr.: Shortage of short firearms over. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The wait will finally be over for some 12,000 policemen.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will start distributing next week the first tranche of close to 60,000 service pistols that it had purchased for P1.2 billion last year.

Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., the PNP spokesman, said Tuesday that President Aquino might even be on hand to lead the symbolic distribution of the 9-mm Glock 17 Generation 4 pistols in turnover ceremonies at Camp Crame on Monday.

He said the procurement of 59,904 Glock pistols would end the shortage of short firearms for the 148,000-strong police force.

“Every pistol went through the stringent process of inspection to make sure that the firearms conformed to our standards and that all were free from factory defects,” Cerbo told reporters.

Completed training

According to Cerbo, only those policemen who had completed the required marksmanship training, as ordered by PNP Director General Alan Purisima, would receive the new service firearms.

“This is to ensure that each PNP personnel who gets a service pistol will be able to use it appropriately,” he said.

As stipulated in the contract it entered into with the Trust Trade and Glock Asia Pacific joint venture, the PNP received the first delivery of 12,000 pistols in February.

The second tranche of the pistols has arrived in the country and is undergoing inspection, Cerbo said.

Biggest procurement

Considered the PNP’s biggest procurement in recent years, the pistols contract was awarded to Trust Trade, the second-lowest bidder, after R. Espineli, which offered the lowest bid of P974 million, was disqualified for failing to comply with documentary requirements.

Trust Trade, which submitted a bid of P998 million, offered the Glock pistols at P16,659.94 each, much lower than the P20,000 price that the PNP had set for each pistol.

However, two of the losing bidders, Kolonwel Trading and Roferma Enterprises, claimed that the bidding was attended by irregularities and filed graft charges against 16 senior officials of the PNP in the Office of the Ombudsman.

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