Assault rifles are next on PNP armory

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Interior Secretary Mar Roxas: Long firearms next. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—After buying close to 75,000 units of Glock 9mm pistols worth P1.2 billion, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to buy 50,000 assault rifles in the next 12 months.

Speaking with reporters after the 112th Police Service anniversary at Camp Crame yesterday, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the purchase of the long firearms was part of the Capability Enhancement Program of the 148,000-strong force.

He said President Aquino had approved the release of P9 billion for the procurement of M16 and M4 assault rifles, communication radios and 2,000 patrol vehicles for the PNP’s field units and stations.

The funds would also be used for the hiring of 30,000 civilian employees who would replace policemen assigned to administrative offices, he added.

“After ending the shortage of (handguns) of our policemen, we will now be addressing the shortage of long firearms of our field units,” Roxas said.

“Between now and next year, we will make use of this P9 billion (for the procurement program of the PNP),” he said.

He said the funds were different from the P2.86 billion that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had recently disbursed to the PNP.

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