GOVERNOR Alfredo Marañon Jr. defended on Friday their plan to purchase 13 firearms worth P1.9 million for the use of Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (Noppo).

Our police must be properly equipped as part of police modernization and for them to have confidence in protecting the people, he said, adding that even if the firearms will be turned over to Noppo, these would still be a property of the Provincial Capitol.

Last Wednesday, the Provincial Board approved the request of Marañon for the Provincial Capitol to procure 13 units of M-4 automatic for Noppo amounting to P1,930,500.

Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the budget will be sourced from the 2015 Provincial Peace and Order Fund.

Lacson said the Provincial Government will undergo a bidding process for its purchase, adding that the governor is expected to seek clearance and ask for authority to sign a deed of donation from the provincial board should the firearms will be donated to NOPPO.

Lacson said that it was the Noppo that had requested for the firearms, adding that the governor sees fit to make this purchase.