GOODBYE ANTING-ANTING | PNoy leads distribution of Glock pistols to cops
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 3:17PM) President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday led symbolic ceremonies for the distribution of the first batch of nearly 60,000 pistols for the police, whom he praised for bearing with a 50-percent lack of handguns for many years, when they fought crime, he noted, with presumably just pluck and ‘anting anting’ (amulets).
In the ceremonies at Camp Crame also graced by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II and PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, officials said a total of 22,603 brand new guns were to be distributed. These constitute the initial delivery of the 59,904 Glock 17 Generation-4, 9mm pistols purchased by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to boost crime-fighting.
In his speech, President Aquino expressed satisfaction over the PNP’s being able to save P200 million from this recent purchase of 59,904 handguns worth P998 million. The Office of the President had approved a P1.2-billion budget, noted Mr. Aquino.
The Directorate for Logistics is expected to use the P200-million savings for an additional order of 12,000 more handguns.
The recipients of the first batch were pre-selected by the Directorate for Logistics. “The Glock 17 Gen 4 successfully passed the series of functional and operational tests conducted by the PNP including the 20,000 rounds endurance firing test,” PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said.
The safe-action pistol is being used in almost 60 percent of national police forces and law enforcement agencies in Europe, America and Asia.
In determining who should get the guns first, Purisima gave priority to units stationed in major tourist destinations and urban centers, including 254 graduates of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 2013. Only personnel who have passed training in firearms proficiency and firearms maintenance are eligible for issuance of the Glock 17, Purisima said.
The latest addition of 59,904 handguns to the current PNP inventory will ensure, said the chief, an unprecedented 100-percent fill-up in the requirement for sidearms, fulfilling a long-held vision to fully equip the 148,000-strong police force.
The PNP right now “only has an assortment of 73,797 short firearms in service, mostly acquired from previous procurements over the years,” according to Purisima.
Purisima sees the supply of handguns in the inventory as enough to arm all 148,000 members of the PNP---and a modest surplus to equip recruits to the force in coming years.
Closer to 1:1 police-gun ratio - Roxas
Meanwhile, DILG chief Roxas said the government’s acquisition of the Glocks has moved it closer to the PNP goal of arming each police officer with a service pistol.
"Our goal is to achieve a ratio of one gun to one police officer,” Roxas said, after President Aquino led in the distribution of 12,000 Glock pistols to PNP officers at Camp Crame.
Gone will be the days, he said, when about 55 percent of the 140,000-strong police force have no issued service firearms, and merely rely on divine intervention for their safety in implementing their peace and order and anti-criminality campaign.
Roxas and PNP Chief Purisima assisted the President in the distribution of the 12,000 Glock 17 pistols, part of the second tranche of delivery by the winning bidder to certain police units and personnel.
"The purchase of the Glock 17 Gen4 pistols is part of government’s efforts to standardize the procedures in the issuance of service firearms to all PNP uniformed personnel,” Roxas said.
With this, he said, the PNP can truly deter crime and will not hesitate to carry out its duties.
So far, the PNP has received a total of 24,000 brand new Glock 17 pistols out of the 74,879 units it procured at P16,659.94 per unit, which is more than half the price of its actual cost of P42,000 per unit. Roxas explained this is how the government was able to save P200 million.
The first tranche of 12,000 units of Glock 17 was delivered at the LSS Warehouse at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. The balance of the remaining undelivered pistols will be delivered in several tranches until it is completed by the end of this year.
Besides the firearms, Roxas said the DILG and the PNP will also procure 2,500 patrol vehicles worth P2.08 billion and some 40,000 hand-held radios for their mobilization and communication needs.
He said the President has also approved the PNP plan to hire some 15,000 civilian employees to perform the administrative functions and free up to 15,000 for field duty.