After Werfast, PNP starts search for gun license courier
MANILA, Philippines – A week after the end of its deal with a controversy-plagued gun license courier company, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said they have already started creating Terms of Reference for companies that want to fill in the gap left by Werfast Documentation Agency Inc.
On March 17, the PNP officially ended its deal with Werfast, a courier company tapped to deliver gun licenses directly to applicants. Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) Director Chief Superintendent Louie Oppus earlier said it was Werfast which opted to end the deal.
PNP Spokesman Chief Superintendent Theodore Sindac, in a statement released Wednesday, March 26, said the PNP Civil Security Group (CSG) was already finalizing the Terms of Reference. Once the terms are done, interested companies can apply for accreditation with the PNP.
The FEO is under the supervision of the CSG.
Gun license applicants have accused the company of being anything but fast – licenses came in late or went undelivered. Reports also alleged Werfast was overcharging for its services. An Inquirer report said the company served only as the "middle man" between the PNP and the FEO, and that it was actually using the services of other delivery companies.
The owners of Werfast were also linked to Chief PNP Director General Alan Purisima. Based on Security and Exchange Commission documents, Werfast is owned by retired CSG chief Ireno Bacolod, Purisima's boss during his stint as chief directorial staff of the CSG.
Another board member, Mario G. Juan, allegedly has close ties to Purisima as well, according to news reports.
Werfast signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the PNP on Sept 13, 2011 for door-to-door gun license deliveries. The move meant to "verify authenticity of addresses given by gun license applicants," according to the PNP.
Purisima, in a press conference, said many of the failed and delayed license deliveries were due to fake addresses being listed down by applicants. The PNP recently tightened the FEO's policies after it discovered "anomalies" in the office. (READ: Gun owners ask police: Why pick on us?)
Stricter measures, said Purisima, would hopefully lessen the number of loose firearms in the country. – Rappler.com
Hand with gun image from Shutterstock.