MORE weapons and ammunition are coming for the Philippine National Police as it prepares to counter threats posed by terrorists in the country including the New People’s Army and the ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups, the Journal Group learned.
Top on its plan is the procurement of some 4 million round of 5.56 ammunition worth at least P101 million and more handguns and assault rifles as part of its modernization program aimed at ensuring the ‘move, shoot, communicate and investigate’ capabilities of the 175,000-strong-force tasked to fight armed and dangerous enemies in the country specifically the NPA and other terror groups in Mindanao.
PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa has ordered his men to fully defend their stations and other facilities from NPA attacks in the aftermath of President Duterte’s decision declaring the NPA as a ‘terror group.’
“My instruction is there should be no police station which should be overrun by the NPA,” he said. The PNP chief also said the ‘one-strike’ policy when it comes to successful NPA raids also remains, which means that a chief of a municipal police station will be administratively relieved and investigated if his station is overrun by the guerrillas.
Gen. Dela Rosa said a police provincial director will be relieved once two of his police stations are raided by the NPA. A police regional director will be relieved if two of his provincial directors will be relieved for the same reason, he added.
The man in-charge of the PNP procurement program, Director Jose Maria Victor DF Ramos of the PNP Directorate for Logistics said they are busy purchasing the additional logistical equipment for the police force.
“We’re going to get 4 million pieces of M-16 ammunition and over 200,000 pieces of M-16 magazines worth some P163 million for our men in the field. This is what Gen. dela Rosa has promised our men. Ang palaging sinasabi niya, ayokong-ayoko na mao-overrun ang isang police station dahil sa walang bala ang mga tao natin,” Ramos told the Journal Group.
Gen. Dela Rosa had maintained that threats of terrorism in the country remained thus necessitating their recommendation to President Duterte to extend martial law in Mindanao for one more year.
“The threat of terrorism is very complicated. They can still recruit lone wolves via internet,” he said a day after arriving in Manila from an official trip in New York where he met with officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Dela Rosa said they discussed threats posed by terrorists in the country including American interests during their meeting. He was joined by PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Deputy Director General Fernando H. Mendez Jr. and PNP Director for Intelligence, Director Gregorio R. Pimentel in the meeting.
He said he can prove that the terror threat is real even in the U.S. since shortly after their talks, a man with a bomb-like device strapped to his body set off an explosion at one of New York’s busiest commuter hubs at rush hour on Monday last week, injuring himself and three others.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an attempted terrorist attack.
President Duterte cited threats posed by the Daesh-inspired Da’awatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masriq, other like-minded local and foreign terror groups and armed lawless groups including the NPA and their coddlers, supporters and financiers in asking Congress to allow a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Gen. Dela Rosa said the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headed by Director Roel B. Obusan is currently building-up cases against known rebel leaders and hunting them down. “In due time, me mahuhuli diyan,” he said.
He also said that he has instructed all police regional directors specifically those in areas where there is a very small presence of the Armed Forces to remain vigilant and launch immediate action against the rebels once they are sighted.
The Duterte government has already canceled a contract it signed with the United States gun company Sig Sauer to procure some P1.7 billion worth of M-4 assault rifles for the PNP amid the latter’s failure to get the much-needed clearance from the U.S. State Department after more than 16 months. The failure of the world-famous gun company to get Washington’s clearance came in the aftermath of reports that American Senators Ben Cardin and Marco Rubio have proposed restrictions on the sale of American guns and other armaments to Manila purportedly because of concerns about alleged human rights violations in connection with President Duterte’s drug war.
As a result, the PNP has called for a rebidding of the contract with at least four companies responding and making their sealed bids the other day. Using the same old procurement law, the company with the lowest bid will have to provide a random sample of their guns which should pass a 20,000 firing test without its barrel and other spare parts showing no defects and still shooting with precision.
Also set to be procured by the PNP this year are brand-new light transport vehicles or 4X4 personnel carriers, Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange (IPPBX), 125cc motorcycles, single-engine turbine helicopters, night vision goggles, 5.56mm light machine guns, global positioning system, thermal imager, hand-held ballistic shield, enhanced combat helmets, Level III-A undershirt vests, Level III–A waistcoat vests with 2 upgraded plates, striker fired 9mm pistols, Civil Disturbance Management equipment, forklifts, rubber boats, 7.62mm light machine guns, HF/SSB Base Radio, Explosive Detection Dogs for its K-9 Unit, Facial Recognition System, Fingerprint Kits, Forensic Comparison Microscopes, Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Personal Computers worth P3.7 billion.
Ramos said they are ensuring that policemen on the field would be equipped with more than sufficient ammunition, firearms and other logistical equipment they need to protect themselves from enemies of the state.
The 2-star police general said Gen. Dela Rosa wants their men in the field to be equipped with guns and ammunition that they can use to fight even enemies which are superior in size and firepower instead of surrendering their facilities and later saying they did it because they run out of ammunition.