THE Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership has a lot of explaining to do in connection with the supposed multimillion-peso flawed gun license delivery service contract entered into by the PNP and private company in 2011.
Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs the senate committee on public order and dangerous drug, wants PNP chief Alan Purisima to submit a written explanation to shed light on numbers of allegations concerning the firearms license delivery contract.
Poe was referring to the deal between the PNP and Werfast Documentation Agency Inc., which was signed on May 25, 2011, authorizing the company to handle the deliveries of firearms license issued by the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO).
Werfast is charging gun owners P190 to deliver their licenses to their homes. But the company is only acting as middleman because Werfast is using another forwarding company to deliver the firearms.
A source said that the PNP should have instead entered into an agreement directly with an established forwarding company instead of a firm that only serves as a middleman so that the delivery fee would be cheaper.
It was also reported that Werfast was able to get the gun license delivery contract of the PNP despite being not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when the deal was made.
Purisima claimed that he has nothing to do with the agreement because he was appointed as head of the PNP in December 2012 and the deal was made in 2011.
Another source pointed out that Purisima should have ordered a review of the contract after receiving numerous complaints about the service being provided by Werfast.
“I think I will have to require the PNP leadership for a written explanation of the issues first and if we find it unsatisfactory then the public order committee or even the blue ribbon committee may look into the matter more closely,” Poe said in a text message.
Meanwhile, Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, in letter addressed to Poe, has asked her committee to look into the supposed irregularities surrounding the PNP firearms delivery contract as well as the centralization of gun registration.
Sotto earlier questioned the legal basis of the PNP leadership’s move to modify the gun registration process as it might not be in accordance of existing laws on firearm ownership.
He said the new policy should be carefully reviewed and if found that it has no legal basis congress could question the move.
Defending the deal
PNP Director General Allan Purisima on Thursday defended the PNP-Werfast contract to deliver firearm licenses and permits to carry of gun owners amid allegations of irregularities.
In a press conference, Purisima admitted that no bidding was conducted when they awarded the contract to Werfast but stressed that there was nothing irregular about the deal as it does not involve PNP funds.
The deal, he added, was consummated by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the PNP and Werfast.
Werfast was awarded the five-year contract in May 2011 even without a legal personality as the company was only registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August of the same year.
It charges a P190 delivery fee for Metro Manila and P290 for the provinces, which gun dealers and owners said was “exorbitant.”
It was also found out that Werfast has subcontracted the delivery to LBC, which only charges P90 for its delivery.
Purisima explained that he has nothing to do with the MOA, pointing out that it was consummated on May 2011 but he only became PNP chief in December 18, 2012.
As to the excessive fee charged on gun owners, Purisima explained that he also saw nothing wrong with, saying that it was a normal business practice.
“What is important for me is that the licenses and permits to carry are received by the gun owner himself on his given address as stated on his or her application form,” the police chief said.
The centralization of licenses and the closure of satellite licensing office, he said, is aimed at stopping the proliferation of loose firearms and eliminate corruption within the Firearms and Explosive Office of the PNP.
The computerization of licenses, Purisima said, has effectively checked the use by some gun owners of fictitious address, phones and even pictures.