Cordillera police lacking firearms

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State auditors have told the Police Regional Office – Cordillera (Pro-Cor) to comply with the requirement of a short firearm for every unit.

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This recommendation was made in a 2014 audit report on the Philippine National Police (PNP) by the Commission on Audit (COA), after auditors found that several policemen in Pro-Cor were not issued firearms.

“In Pro-Cor, the non-compliance with the provision of Napolcom [National Police Commission] Resolution No. 93-08 dated April 6, 1993 to provide 100 percent short firearm to every policeman may compromise the efficiency in the discharge of their duties and functions,” the audit team said.

The Napolcom resolution approved the PNP Table of Equipment and Allowance for its regional, provincial and district offices including police stations in cities which will ensure the purchase and distribution of equipment and logistical requirements, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 6975 that established the PNP under a reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Perusal of the approved Table of Equipment of PNP Units, short firearms is required 100 percent for the personnel strength in the PNP Offices/Units and that includes offices in the region, provinces, cities and municipalities,” auditors said.

But they found that not all policemen were issued the required short firearms.

“During the firearm showdown of the different police stations in Baguio City and Benguet Province in January 2015, we observed that at least 24 policemen were not issued with short firearms contrary to the requirement of the Napolcom Resolution. Inquiry from the policemen revealed that they were not issued with firearms since they are already due for retirement. However, we also noted that some were already in the service for more than 30 years and were never issued a short firearm,” auditors reported.

The audit team expressed concern that this may affect the efficiency of the policemen in the discharge of their duties and functions as enumerated under Section 24 of RA 6975.

“We recommended that Management comply with the 100 percent short firearm requirement in all the police offices or units as provided in the Napolcom Resolution No. 93-08 dated April 6, 1993,” auditors said.

The Cordillera Police Regional Office has agreed to comply the requirement “by requesting short firearms from the PNP National Headquarters and for possible funding from the Capability Enhancement Program Fund.”

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