PNP to pursue groups allegedly trying to derail gun deal-A A +A
Thursday, September 13, 2012
MANILA -- Police officials said Thursday that they will go after those who are trying to disrupt the process of procuring new firearms for the Philippine National Police (PNP), even as they maintained that there is no irregularity in deal.
The PNP is considering legal actions against individuals, possibly including losing bidders, who are spreading false information and speculations that the rifle deal is overpriced.
"That is business perhaps. Others (losing bidders) may want to derail [the procurement] for them to be given a second chance," said Director General Emelito Sarmiento, chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the PNP.
Individuals or companies who will be proven guilty of trying to derail the procurement may be suspended or balcklisted by the PNP, officials said.
Last month, the PNP declared a failure to bid for the 1,500 pieces of M4 assault rifles since R. Espineli, the lone bidder, failed to submit the required documents.
Another bidding process was suspended when President Benigno Aquino III himself discovered that there was an alleged overpricing in the purchase.
The President noted that an internet search will show that one unit of the assault rifles costs less than $1,000 or less than P40,000 compared to the PNP's considered purchase price of P80,000 a unit.
R. Espineli, the lone bidder, entered a winning bid of P89,000.
Police Senior Superintendent Edwin Roque, BAC member, said the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo also ordered to halt the process of the rifle deal due to the alleged overpricing.
"[Robredo] told us to suspend the procurement of the assault rifles because we need to review the price. [There is] an observation, particularly in the internet, that the unit price of similar assault rifles is $1,000 to $1,200," Roque said.
He added that the logistics office of the PNP is now conducting the review of the price.
But amid the controversies surrounding the rifle deal, the BAC said the procurement of 59,904 Glock nine-milimeter pistols will continue in order to fill up the needed short firearms of policemen and to replace their old revolvers.
The contract of the gun deal, which costs about a billion pesos, just needs the signature of PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, who has until September 25 to approve the procurement.
Meanwhile, the BAC also dismissed the allegations of Agham Representative Angelo Palmones who claimed that more than 20,000 pistol units have already been shipped to the country even though the contract is yet to be signed.
"I think there is no basis on that, with due respect to the congressman… [Let him] identify who his sources are," Sarmiento said. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)