498 R-12 cops to get new handguns

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 July) — An initial 498 policemen in Region 12 are set to receive brand-new Glock 17 service pistols as part of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) continuing modernization program.

Senior Insp. Benjamin Mauricio, Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 public information officer, said the new service pistols comprise the PNP central office’s allocation for the region for the initial delivery set this year.

“We originally requested around 2,000 units but 498 were approved for this delivery,” he said in a radio interview.

He was referring to the initial 22,603 units of Glock 17 Generation 4 safe-action 9mm pistols that were approved for distribution by the PNP central office.

The PNP is planning to distribute a total of 74,879 Glock handguns nationwide in a bid to improve the capability of policemen in the country.

Mauricio said the new Austrian-made pistols will be given to policemen in the region with the ranks of Police Officer (PO) 1 to 3.

He said the initial recipients include policemen that have no issued service pistols and new recruits or police basic training graduates assigned in various police units in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region.

Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Earlier this month, an additional 166 new police officers completed their one-year basic training at the PRO-12’s Regional Training School in Camp Gregorio Daproza in Purok Lanton, Barangay Apopong here.

The new graduates, who will immediately proceed to a 45-day special counter insurgency unit training to further enhance their skills in preparation for their duties as law enforcers, were commissioned with the rank of PO1.

Mauricio said that prior to the distribution of the new service pistols, the prospective recipients need to pass standard proficiency tests and undergo seminars and trainings on the use of the Glock 17 handgun.

He said the training, which is a standard requirement for the distribution of new firearms, will focus on the proper use of new handgun, familiarization of its features, system and characteristics.

“Our policemen need to learn first the basics about Glock 17 to ensure their proper use during operations,” he added.

Glock 17 is a semi-automatic compact pistol that is used by police forces and law enforcement agencies in Europe, United States and Asia.

The PNP said Glock 17s, which have a 17-round magazine capacity, are “light, easy to carry and easy to maintain.” (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)