MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday expressed his dismay if indeed reports were true that the United States State Department halted the contract of the PNP with an American firearm supplier for more than 27,000 M4 rifles.
It was earlier reported in the Reuters that Senator Ben Cardin, a top-ranking Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would ask for the halt of the firearms deal over the issue or alleged human rights violations involving the current administration.
In a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Dela Rosa said that they had not yet received any official communication regarding the said report.
However, he said if the contract for the firearms deal would be rescinded, it would be a big waste of time because they would again look for another new company to purchase the needed firearms.
The PNP chief also cited that the delivery of the said firearms was supposed to be next year.
Dela Rosa said that it would be a loss for the United States if the firearms deal would not push through.
Nevertheless, he said, the country could also look for arms supplier from Germany, Israel, China, Belgium and Russia, among others.
The PNP is procuring 27,394 units of Basic Assault Rifles (BAR) through Agency Procurement Request (APR) at the Procurement Service, Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) utilizing the funds from the Capability Enhancement Program (CEP) 2010-2015 with Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) of Php 2 billion.
“Our contract price totaled to Php 1.7 billion, the Contract Agreement was signed on July 13, 2016 and Notice to Proceed on July 29, 2016 to the winning bidder, Sig Sauer, Inc. represented by Intrade Asia Pacific Corporation for the supply and delivery of the assault rifles with price per unit of about Php 64,000,” Dela Rosa said.
The expected delivery of the SIG M400 rifles is early next year.
After delivery, the registration process will be undertaken at the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) and Crime Laboratory (CL) and upon acceptance by the procuring entity, delivery to the end-users, the Public Safety Forces, Municipal and City Police Stations (MPS/CPS) and National Support Units (NSUs) of the PNP will commence.
Dela Rosa said that the procurement of the rifles would increase the percentage fill-up for long firearms from 35 percent to 86 percent thus enhancing the firepower capability of Public Safety Forces and other PNP units involved in the campaign against terrorism, a serious threat to global peace and security.
He added that as per letter from Sig Sauer dated Nov. 1, 2016, the export license for the delivery of the rifles is undergoing normal process in the US State Department. Perfecto Raymundo/PNA-northboundasia.com