PNP to prioritize firearms, mobility gear purchase

PNP to prioritize firearms, mobility gear purchasePNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. PNP PRO-1

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has set its sights on procuring more firearms and equipment for the mobility of police officers, with body-worn cameras its third priority.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said beefing up the move and shoot capability of their personnel nationwide is their goal during his term.

As for body cameras, he said the gadget is the third item they want to procure.

“Nasa third. Ang first of course is the mobility. Ang second is ‘yung firearms,” Azurin told reporters.

He said they also want more communication equipment to boost the connectivity of their police units.

Azurin on Thursday led the blessing of P761.2 million worth of police vehicles, protection and information technology equipment acquired through the PNP’s supplemental appropriations aligned for its modernization program.

The latest batch of equipment consist of 130 personnel carriers, 41 advance life support ambulances, 1,464 all-purpose vests, 212 5.56mm light machine guns and 8,001 units of 9mm striker fired pistols.

During the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, the PNP purchased 2,696 body cameras worth at least P288 million for police anti-narcotics officers.

The PNP’s move was their response to allegations of human rights abuses committed by police officers in the implementation of the war on drugs.

Asked if they would be able to procure body cameras for all their anti-narcotics officers before his term ends on April 24 next year, Azurin said it is unlikely with the budget they receive from the government every year.

He noted that Congress allots P2 billion every year for the PNP’s capability enhancement program.

“Congress can only give so much,” Azurin said.