MANILA--- Concern for the safety and well-being of the country's soldiers prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to provide .45 caliber pistols to all activity-duty personnel.
This was after the Chief Executive turned over 3,000 of the above-mentioned weapons to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo AAo during short ceremonies in Malacanang Palace Tuesday.
"Realizing that most uniformed personnel from the AFP could not afford to buy for themselves hand guns with their meager salaries, President Duterte pledged to provide pistols to all soldiers within his term. The Commander-in-Chief acknowledges the fact that soldiers are always exposed to danger in implementing his orders and in fulfilling their mandate to secure the country from lawless elements," Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna, said in his speech, in behalf of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
During the President's visit to the Western Command in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last April 6, 2017, the defense department was directed to provide caliber .45 pistols to all soldiers to better protect themselves during military operations. Like a good soldier, we immediately requested for an emergency procurement for 3,000 units of caliber .45 pistol. This acquisition is also part of the First Horizon of the revised Modernization Program of the AFP, he added.
The pistol acquisition project was undertaken by the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) under negotiated procurement mode with ARMSCOR Global Defence, Inc., pursuant to Section 53.2 (Emergency Cases) of the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9184.
In line with his flagship program of ridding the country against illegal drugs, Duterte likewise stressed the need for soldiers to have pistols other than their service firearms to use during operations against criminality and drugs.
During his visits to soldiers in various camps, the Chief Executive has always emphasized the need for military personnel to always carry with them hand guns which they can use to protect themselves and their families from threats or actual attacks of rebels, terrorists and other enemies of the state, especially after their military operations, or whenever they are outside military camps and even during their authorized rest and recreation period.
Source: Philippine News Agency