MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome has approved a firearms deal worth around P1 billion.
Bartolome signed the contract with gun supplier Trust Trade/Glock Asia for the purchase of around 60,000 9-millimeter Glock pistols Thursday afternoon.
Initial delivery of the first 12,000 units is expected sometime in February 2013, thereafter, the succeeding deliveries are due every 120 calendar days.
With the deal, the PNP assures that all of its 148,000 members will be issued a service firearm.
PNP deputy chief for administration and concurrent Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chair deputy Director General Emelito Sarmiento said the PNP generated a P200 million savings in this procurement, enough to fund a re-order of around 12,000 more pistols.
The budget for the said deal was P1.198 billion, considered the largest procurement in the history of the PNP.
The purchase was hounded by controversy after some losing bidders accused the BAC that it favored Trust Trade even if the sample pistols allegedly failed the endurance test.
The allegation was denied by the PNP and the BAC.
Bartolome earlier said the contract was delivered to his desk last September 10 and he was given 15 days to act on it.
The PNP chief said he consulted the PNP’s legal service before signing the contract.
The suspended bidding process for the assault rifles, meanwhile, may be rescheduled.
Bartolome also said he has no plans of entering politics and dismissed speculations that he will retire earlier than his scheduled retirement on March 16, 2013. -- Reports from Gus Abelgas, ABS-CBN News; Edwin Sevidal, dzMM; ANC