Quantcast

Cops now fully armed: Amulets, prayers, Glocks

By

GLOCKS GALORE President Aquino leads the ceremonial distribution of brand-new Glock 17 pistols to police officers at the Philippine National Police Multipurpose Hall in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The acquisition of the handguns is part of the PNP modernization program. LYN RILLON

After assuming office in June 2010, President Aquino said he made a startling discovery: Nearly 50 percent of the PNP had no service firearms.

“That means half of your ranks perhaps relied on amulets or prayed you’d be bulletproof, or thought you could talk your way out of a firefight,” he told a large crowd of policemen.

Nothing wrong with saying a few prayers while you chase an armed criminal down the street—but maybe it’s also time you stop wearing amulets.

Like most European and American law enforcers, nearly half of the country’s 148,000 policemen will soon be carrying Glock 17 pistols—the kind of weapon used by British troops in Afghanistan—as they patrol the streets.

In ceremonies at the Philippine National Police Multipurpose Hall, Aquino on Tuesday distributed the first batch of Glock guns to policemen who have no service firearms and could be relying on amulets or prayers to dodge bullets.

Initially, 22,603 units of the Glock 17 Generation 4 safe-action 9mm pistols are to be distributed to the PNP. Altogether, 74,879 Glock guns are planned for distribution.

Remembering Robredo

In essence, the government was putting so much responsibility on policemen to maintain law and order in a country of 95 million Filipinos, yet cared little about their welfare, Aquino said.

Aquino handed over the pistols to 21 policemen from different units around the country in a ceremonial distribution witnessed by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and PNP Director General Alan Purisima.

“Indeed this is a significant day for national security… It won’t be long before we provide the total 74,879 guns for the police force,” the President said. “At this positive pace, we’re close to reaching our target of 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio.”

Aquino said no one could have been happier than the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who worked hard for the gun distribution program before he died in a plane crash last August.

The Glock 17 pistol is the service firearm used by 60 percent of police forces and law enforcement agencies in Europe, the United States and Asia. They are light, easy to carry and easy to maintain, police officials said.

UK troops in Afghanistan were issued the same Glock 17 Gen 4 pistols in January for their personal protection and as a second armament in case their SA80 rifle fails.

The Glock 17 weighs 905 grams when loaded and comes with a magazine with 17 bullets, according to a Bloomberg report.

It is used by the Swedish and Norwegian militaries and Swiss Army special forces. At least 65 percent of law enforcers in the United States, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration, also use it, the same report said.

Arbo and Moncatar

quino said the PNP received a P1.198-billion budget for the acquisition of the Glock pistols but saved P200 million, which was used to acquire 12,000 to 15,000 other weapons.

In his speech, Aquino cited Police Officers 2 Edlyn Arbo and Felipe Moncatar, both of whom fought off criminals without a service firearm. He directed Roxas and Purisima to promote them.

Arbo chased a hold-up man who had robbed jeepney passengers, and ended up injured. Moncatar collared “most wanted” persons and members of crime syndicates in Bacolod City.

“The whole country salutes your courage and commitment,” Aquino said.

Far from ideal

Aquino cited the PNP’s gains, such as the drop in crime volume from 2010 to 2012—a nearly 40-percent drop in car theft cases, a 73-percent decrease in kidnap for ransom cases and a 63-percent reduction in the number of private armed groups, among others.

But given that the current 1:1,500 ratio of policemen to population is far from the ideal of 1:500, the President allotted P9 billion for the PNP Transformation Plan from 2013 to 2016.

The plan’s main feature is the hiring of 15,000 non-uniformed personnel every year for administrative jobs, and allowing policemen to go out of precincts to beef up the security in communities, Aquino said.

The government’s purchase of M-4 rifles for field patrol is now sealed, he also said.

No room for bullies

“With these reforms, I expect our law enforcers to be at the forefront of combating crime and transactionalism. There’s no room in our force for bullies in the streets, or patrons of bad elements,” he said.

“To those who don’t shape up, I assure you you’d end up in prison which we’re expanding,” he said.

Roxas told reporters the President had approved the allocation of P9 billion for the procurement of high-powered firearms and other equipment.

He said the police would immediately start the public bidding for P800 million worth of M-4 assault rifles and 2,500 police vehicles.

Biggest PNP project

Considered the biggest procurement project in PNP history, Roxas said the acquisition of the Glock pistols would end the shortage of short firearms for the 148,000-strong police force.

“The purchase of the Glock pistols is part of the government’s effort to standardize the procedures in the issuance of service firearms to all PNP uniformed personnel,” Roxas said. “Our goal is to achieve a ratio of one gun to one police officer.”

Police officers located in highly urbanized cities and tourist destinations will be prioritized in the distribution of the firearms, Roxas said.

“These are the places which have the highest percentage of crimes,” he said.

15,000 civilians

Roxas said Aquino had also approved the PNP plan to hire 15,000 civilian employees to replace policemen assigned to administrative functions. At present, about 60,000 uniformed PNP personnel are carrying out office work, he said.

“Our police-to-population ratio is one of the lowest in the world,” he said.

Roxas said relieving policemen of their administrative duties would help the PNP field more armed personnel for patrol and security operations.

“By doing this, we can immediately add police presence in our communities,” he stressed.

Roxas said the PNP would also buy 40,000 handheld radios.

“The patrol vehicles and radios will be distributed nationwide so that our PNP officers will be more mobile and coordinated in running after criminals and maintaining peace and order in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” he said.

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

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

Copyright © 2014,

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



News

  • Experts didn’t call building overpriced, says Makati exec
  • Pangasinan school shooting fatalities now 4
  • US girl in accidental killing said Uzi was too much for her
  • US strike may have killed Somali extremist group leader
  • Race begins to extend DAR powers to secure lands
  • Sports

  • Do-or-die for Gilas PH vs Balkman, Puerto Rico
  • Chot Reyes rues ‘nice game’ that got away again
  • Tamaraws target first Final 4 slot vs Falcons
  • ‘Most exciting Pinoy Pride’
  • Peace Cup: PH Azkals clash with Taiwanese
  • Lifestyle

  • US student gains rep as squirrel whisperer
  • Study: Playing music helps sharpen kids’ brains
  • This diplomat can cook, and how
  • What’s your agenda in owning a pet?
  • Roll up the mags
  • Entertainment

  • Mark Gil in his prime
  • Sneaky gal gets just desserts
  • Goodbye, Ralph Eigenmann
  • Eraserheads in mini reunion
  • PH film ‘Rekorder’ wins in South Korea
  • Business

  • PH jumps 7 notches in WEF rankings
  • Bangko Sentral expected to raise borrowing rate
  • PSEi retests 7,100 mark
  • Inflation seen settling near 5% in August
  • Ayala Land to develop Luzon industrial estates
  • Technology

  • How to protect your data in the cloud
  • Inquirer.net reclaims top news site ranking
  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea
  • ‘Internet fasting’—returning to the real world
  • PH ranks 8th in Ice Bucket Challenge participation
  • Opinion

  • A cure for Ebola?
  • DOTC at fault for MRT-3 breakdowns
  • The other three-fourths
  • Cultural heritage in rice
  • Seasons
  • Global Nation

  • PH peacekeepers’ chief quits post
  • Journalist is China’s ‘most dangerous woman’
  • UC Berkeley study backs San Francisco minimum wage hike
  • Republican opposition to Obamacare waning in California
  • New Chicago consul holds first ‘dialogue with the community’
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • US girl in accidental killing said Uzi was too much for her

      Read More

    • Salt farm offers weekend getaway from daily work

      Read More

    • Groups map trails to link Cordi communities

      Read More

    • Palace: Aquino got justice

      Read More

    • Brains behind frustrated Naia bombers still unknown

      Read More

    • What PH peacekeepers can look forward to when they come home

      Read More

    • Arrested suspects in foiled Naia car bombing face raps

      Read More

    • All flights to Tacloban airport suspended

      Read More

    • Government to sue MRTC for breach of contract

      Read More

    • Experts doubt Makati building is world-class

      Read More

    • Nancy Binay argues what ‘world-class’ means

      Read More

    • Lacierda, Valte take on ‘MRT Rush Hour Challenge’

      Read More

    • Drilon takes on ice bucket challenge

      Read More

    • 6 dead in Paris suburb building explosion

      Read More

    • US airstrikes and aid for Iraqi town under siege

      Read More