THE winning supplier of an estimated P1.7 billion worth of assault rifles from the United States on Monday informed the Philippine National Police that the processing of their gun permits at the US State Department is going smoothly contrary to a foreign wire report.
“This letter responds to your request for a status of the export license that SIG Sauer submitted to the US State Department for approval of the sale of rifles to the Philippine National Police. This request is the result of media reports indicating that the license processing may be stalled in the U.S. Senate.
“Sig Sauer contacted the State Department for a status of the license, and was advised earlier today that the license was being processed as normal. We will continue to monitor the status of this license and advise of any meaningful changes,” said Amargo Goncalves, the executive vice president of the Sig Sauer Global Defense Sales in a letter to Intrade Asia Pacific Corporation, a Makati City-based gun supplier represented by Randolf Limjoco.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa presented the letter in the wake of a Reuters report that the US State Department has halted the sale of some 26,000 assault rifles to the PNP after one American senator said he would oppose it.
“As per letter from Sig Sauer dated November 1, 2016, the export license for the delivery of the rifles is undergoing normal process in the US State Department,” he said.
Gen. Dela Rosa said they are procuring 27,394 units of Basic Assault Rifles (BAR) through Agency Procurement Request at the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management utilizing the funds from the Capability Enhancement Program 2010-2015 with an Approved Budget Contract of P2 billion.
“Our contract price totaled to 1.7 billion pesos, 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 P64,000,” the PNP chief said.
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 and Crime Laboratory and upon acceptance by the procuring entity, delivery to the end-users, the Public Safety Forces, Municipal and City Police Stations and National Support Units of the PNP will commence,” he added.
Gen. Dela Rosa said the “procurement of these rifles will 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.”