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PNoy distributes brand new pistols to PNP officers

July 2, 2013 10:34am

Finally, a gun for every cop
Finally, a gun for every cop. President Aquino on Tuesday formally turned over to the PHL National Police over 22,000 Glock 17 9mm pistols, with 52,000 more pistols scheduled to be delivered, to address the severe shortage of police firearms. Previously, many cops have had to borrow or buy guns out of their own pockets.
(Updated 1:37 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday led the distribution of 22,603 pistols to Philippine National Police (PNP) officers as part of the government's effort to arm each police officer in the country with a handgun.
Glock 17 9mm automatic pistol
Aquino, himself a gun enthusiast, handed the brand-new Glock 17 Generation 4 pistols to some PNP officers in turnover ceremonies at the National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

In his speech during the event, Aquino said his government is committed to strengthening the police force by providing it with more equipment, adding that, before he assumed office, almost half of police officers did not have guns.

"Ibig sabihin: ang kalahati ng inyong hanay, umaasa lamang yata sa anting-anting, o nananalanging huwag tablan ng bala sa oras ng engkuwentro, o madaan sa pakiusap ang pusakal na kriminal. Sa matagal na panahon, para bang sinasabi nating, tungkulin n’yo ang mabilis na pagsugpo sa krimen at banta sa seguridad, pero kapag kapakanan n’yo na ang nakataya, magtiis kayo’t ‘wag nang umasa," Aquino said.

He likewise lauded two police officers—PO2 Edlyn Arbo and PO2 Felipe Moncatar—who were able to curb criminality in their respected areas even without firearms.

"Isipin n’yo, wala man bitbit na baril o kakulangan man sa armas, nagagawa pa rin ninyong magpakitang gilas. Paano pa kaya kung mayroon nang sapat at modernong kagamitan ang inyong hanay?" the President said.

Aquino also pledged to provide more equipment, such as rifles and patrol vehicles, to the PNP.
According to the PNP, each pistol was bought for P16,569, much lower than its current retail price of P40,940. The PNP said the government was able to save P200 million for the handguns.

'Most reliable'

Senior Superintendnet Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP spokesman, meanwhile said the new pistols underwent one of the "biggest" and "most transparent" bidding processes in the PNP's history.

"In fact, noong bidding process may apat na camera na nakatutok doon sa kwarto. We really made sure that it will be transparent and procedural," he said.

He also explained that the PNP leadership chose to buy Glock 17 pistols since these guns are the ones being used by police officers in more developed countries, such as the United States.

"Ito rin ang most reliable and pinakamadaling i-maintain na baril," Sindac said in a separate interview.

According to the Glock website, the Glock 17 is the "world's most popular pistol." The unit specifically given to PNP officers has a reversible enlarged magazine catch and a dual recoil spring assembly, among other features.
The pistols distributed by the President were part of the 74,879 handguns procured by the PNP as part of the P1-billion contract signed last September to fully fill up the handgun requirements of the police force.

The handgun contract was signed last year after the PNP and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials faced a Senate inquiry for a plan to procure allegedly overpriced assault rifles. The PNP eventually aborted the rifle deal.

Sindac said the police officers who received the new pistols underwent various tests and orientations on responsible use of firearms.

"Hindi basta-basta ito, Kailangan dumaan sila sa maraming pagsasanay at orientations. Kailangan din nilang pumasa sa firing proficiency tests. That is when they will earn their right to be issued these pistols," he said. — RSJ/KBK, GMA News
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