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Eleazar: Weapons, other equipment to reach police nationwide

July 19, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 125 views

ElezarPHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar has assured the public that police guns and other equipment have reached or will reach their end-users nationwide to better equip them in their fight against drugs, criminality and terrorism.

The top cop made the assurance as he tasked all concerned PNP units to look into the supposed discrepancies on records for the transfer of firearms and body armor vests to police regional offices as observed by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Gen. Eleazar assured the COA that the PNP’s accounting division, the PNP Directorate for Comptrollership and the PNP Directorate for Logistics are already checking the records to make the necessary adjustments and correct the supposed discrepancies and ensure that all the items were delivered to the concerned police regional offices.

“I already directed the concerned police offices to check why the records of the National Headquarters and the Police Regional Offices do not match. They should reconcile the records and correct the discrepancies to avoid possible issues in the deployment of weapons and other equipment to the Police Regional Offices,” the PNP chief said.

PNP-DL director, Major Gen. Angelito A. Casimiro told the Journal Group that as far as they are concerned, all PNP properties, plants and equipment are fully accounted for.

The only problem lies on the recording of their Regional Accountants, Regional Supply Accountable Officers and those from the different PNP National Operational Support Units, the official said.

“Technical kasi ang pag balance ng Book of Accounts ng Accountants and the Responsible Supply Officer. Also, the procedure between the PNP-wide Supply Accountable Officer and the Regional Supply Accountable Officer and their relation with the NSUs Supply Accountable Officer,” said Maj. Gen. Casimiro.

Gen. Eleazar said they are fully cooperating with COA when it comes to the accounting of their logistical supplies and as part of their transparency program.

“The PNP remains transparent and I assure the COA that we will address and correct this. Gusto din natin tiyakin na ang lahat ng mga gamit na nakalaan para sa ating mga Police Regional Offices ay nakararating at accounted,” he said.

The COA had said there was lack of records to show that the firearms and body armor vests were turned over to the Police Regional Offices across the country.

The Commission said in its 2020 report that the books of accounts of 11 Police Regional Offices did not match the number of items -including 9mm pistols, basic assault rifles, enhanced combat helmets, and tactical vests- which were supposedly transferred to them as indicated in the records at the PNP NHQ.

Among the Police Regional Offices are those in the Ilocos region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Miraropa, Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Cordillera Administrative Region, and at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Gen. Eleazar likewise ordered the leadership of the elite PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and other police units to check the status of the supposed “unmet contracts” flagged by the COA.

“I have directed the leadership of the SAF to determine and immediately report to me why some of these procurement contracts have not materialized. I have also tasked the SAF to report the current status of the contracts,” he said.

In its 2020 report, COA indicated that at least 29 procurement contracts entered into by the elite force with various suppliers have not yet been delivered.

The COA recommended for the SAF to terminate the contracts for the acquisition of troop carriers, armored vehicles, machine guns, rifles, grenade and rocket launchers, pistols, mortar, parachutes, and tactical vests, among others.

“We will consult with our PNP Legal Service kung ano ang mga susunod na hakbang na aming dapat gawin hinggil dito,” Gen. Eleazar said in the wake of the COA report.

“These contracts are for the improvement of the elite force’s operational capability. Kaya’t ang focus natin dito ay talagang ma-i-deliver sa ating SAF ang mga equipment na makatutulong ng malaki sa kanilang operasyon,” he explained.

Gen. Eleazar said they are very thankful that President Duterte is ‘very very supportive of the PNP’ and is seeing to it that they would be fully equipped as they battle drugs, criminality and corruption.

The top cop said they will pursue their modernization plan and will be prioritizing the acquisition of necessary and basic equipment and infrastructures.

Officials have maintained that a graft-free PNP bidding process over the past five years of the Duterte administration has not only ensured that quality ‘move, shoot, communicate and investigate’ tools and other equipment would be procured by the force but at the same time enable it to save millions that can be used to buy what officers in round-the-clock patrol really need.