PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency chair Director General Aaron N. Aquino yesterday led the distribution of newly-procured high-powered firearms and protective equipment worth nearly P80 million which will be used by his men in combating armed drug dealers across the country.
The pieces of equipment include caliber .45 pistols, bullet-proof sando vests, and tactical protective shields, the official said.
Aquino said that the Agency last year procured 838 units of Level 3-A bullet-proof sando-type vest with a total value of P50.280 million and 20 units of tactical protective/ ballistic shields worth P13,967,680.
The bullet-proof 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 ammunition.
Tactical protective shields are also level III-A capable of defeating center fire caliber lead core projectile threats from caliber .45, magnum 44, and 7.62 bullets.
Aquino said that the short firearms consisted of 479 units of caliber .45 (Jericho 941 FS) with a total value of P15,350,992 designed with advance 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 which will be distributed to PDEA operating units in the country, boosting their capability in the fight against illegal drugs,” the PDEA chair 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,” Aquino said.
The official said that they saw to it that their approved specifications were met and that all government procurement procedures were strictly followed with emphasis on transparency.