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

  • P2.6T national budget has P500B lump sum
  • Shoptalk: Armored car on Edsa stirs up coup gossip
  • Why raps vs 3rd batch of solons taking time
  • FOI measure No. 18 in Palace’s 26 priority bills
  • Edsa ‘road rage’ driver charged but…
  • Sports

  • No. 1 Bulldogs feast on Falcons
  • Altas sink Pirates; Knights triumph
  • Rising Suns seek tie for Shakey’s V-L top spot
  • Barriga, Suarez close in on Asian Games slots
  • Portugal pulls off GT series sweep
  • Lifestyle

  • Makati’s landmark Nielson Tower–RP’s first gateway to the world–now a haven of world cuisine
  • Atypical, surprising Huaiyang cuisine
  • Romulo Café’s ‘guinataang sigarilyas’ with ‘tinapa’
  • ‘Buko’ soup, Asian spring rolls, special ‘buchi’–discovering new dishes at a favorite restaurant
  • Pasta Aligue, chicken flutes –a symphony of flavors at Paresto Café
  • Entertainment

  • PhilPop champ credits ‘lifesavers’ for triumph
  • Sexy Maya
  • Orlando Bloom throws a punch at Justin Beiber
  • Women dragged in alleged Paolo Bediones sex video break their silence
  • Marital row caught on cam
  • Business

  • Trade blocs press Aquino for vital reforms
  • With Terminal 3 fully operational, Manila’s image seen to improve
  • Auto parts manufacturing hub status eyed
  • Wary of inflation, BSP stands ready to reset key policy rates
  • Saved by the bill
  • Technology

  • Japanese gov’t, publishers demand online ‘Manga’ pirates
  • Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers
  • China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case
  • Samsung postpones launch of Tizen smartphone
  • Customs bureau warns public vs ‘Internet love scams’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, July 31, 2014
  • Daunting statistics
  • A battle for trust
  • Boss
  • A different kind of transport
  • Global Nation

  • Filipino educator leads Ramon Magsaysay awardees
  • Filipina nurse kidnapped, raped in Libya’s Tripoli—medics, security
  • Palawan Court to issue verdict on Tubbataha intruders on Aug. 5
  • Unicef boosts DSWD program with unconditional cash transfer
  • In the Know: 3 papal visits in span of 25 years
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • EU ready for Ebola threat

      Read More

    • Palace: No conflict in asking Congress to redefine savings

      Read More

    • Fears grow of Ebola spreading to Europe

      Read More

    • Hunger in Q2 dips but self-rated poverty up

      Read More

    • The P2.6T proposed budget: Where will it be spent?

      Read More

    • No more lump-sum amounts in P2.6T budget proposal, says Palace exec

      Read More

    • Palace not worried about restive MILF commanders

      Read More

    • Proposed P2.6T budget no longer under solons’ mercy – Abad

      Read More

    • Will the real road rage suspect step forward?

      Read More

    • Retired General Esperon sees no basis on coup plot

      Read More

    • DOJ gets copies of Saros of lawmakers linked to pork scam

      Read More

    • Customs has over 1,000 job vacancies

      Read More

    • ‘Inday’ maintains strength, Mimaropa to experience rains

      Read More

    • Nearly 150 feared trapped in landslide in India

      Read More

    • Twister slams coastal village on outskirts of Digos City

      Read More