PDEA firearms, protective equipment boosted by new acquisitions

Published January 18, 2019, 3:06 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Chito Chavez

Faced with insurmountable odds in facing fully armed criminals, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Friday boosted the agency’s own collection of crime-fighting weapons with the distribution of its newly acquired high-powered firearms and protective equipment to its various operating units in the country.

PDEA spokesman Derrick Arnold Carreon said the pieces of equipment that were distributed include caliber .45 pistol, bulletproof sando vests, and tactical protective shields.

He said the agency procured 838 units of bulletproof sando type vest (Level IIIA) with a total value of P50,280,000.00; and, 20 units of tactical protective/ ballistic shield with a total value of P13,967,680.00.

PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino tries the newly procured high-powered firearms and protective equipment that will be used by the operating units during their turnover ceremony at PDEA HQ in Quezon City on Jan. 18, 2019. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)
PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino tries the newly procured high-powered firearms and protective equipment that will be used by the operating units during their turnover ceremony at PDEA HQ in Quezon City on Jan. 18, 2019. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Bulletproof sando vests are made of 100 percent Kevlar Aramid Ballistic Fabric capable of reducing degradation when submerged in water due to its waterproof ballistic panel sealing. It is a level III-A vest designed to stop body penetration of firearm-fired projectiles and explosives shrapnel and can absorb the impact of caliber 9mm, .45, and magnum .44.

Tactical protective shields are also level III-A capable of defeating centerfire caliber lead core projectile threats from caliber .45, magnum 44, and 7.62 bullets.

The short firearms consisted of 479 units of caliber .45 (Jericho 941 FS) with a total value of Php 15,350,992.00 designed with advanced technology features to be used by PDEA agents in anti-drug operations with performance and reliability.

“All in all the firearms and protective equipment procured have a total value of P79,598,672.00 which will be distributed to PDEA operating units in the country, boosting their capability in the fight against illegal drugs,” said PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino.

Aquino said “these pieces of equipment are part of our operational capacity and capability enhancement program as we vow to intensify our fight against big-time drug lords and high-value targets across the country”.

The PDEA chief added the specifications required were met and the procurement procedure was strictly followed giving emphasis on transparency required by the government.

Meanwhile, Aquino has shrugged off claims that PDEA agents had mishandled the “rescue” of 12 minors who were allegedly working for drug pushers in Navotas City.

On Wednesday, PDEA operatives raided a cluster of drug dens at Barangay North Bay Boulevard where 16 drug personalities were nabbed.

The arrested suspects included 12 children aged 4 to 15 who were reportedly employed in the illegal drug trade at the Navotas Fish Port.

Carreon said the operation was part of the agency’s “Oplan Sagip Bata’’ which is the first major operation in the vicinity against illegal drugs.

However, the Navotas anti-illegal drug operation received numerous criticisms as PDEA agents were accused of forcing the minors to admit to being ‘shabu’’ users with their faces viewed in public.

But Aquino explained the rescued minors were herded to the headquarters and “properly fed, cleaned up and processed per the provisions under Republic Act 9344.

He added the minors were not subjected to drug tests and will be turned over to social workers for intervention.

 
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