Back in the 70’s there was a movie called “The gang who couldn’t shoot straight” which starred Robert de Niro, among others. Unfortunately, the Philippine National Police (PNP) may soon be called “The Police who couldn’t shoot straight.”
You see, recently, the 125,000 Philippine National Police officers were given a marksmanship test. They were also tested on gun care, cleaning and handling. Ninety percent of PNP Officers failed the test. According to National Police Commissioner Luis Mario General, of the 10% who passed the test, most of them ranked as “novices” in weapon care and in marksmanship.
Furthermore, General revealed that nearly 50% of the PNP officers do not even have a service firearm. In addition, General said that the high cost of training and of ammunition are to blame for the terrible results.
How can the PNP possibly be effective when only 10% of them can pass a marksmanship test, and most of those 10% can only barely pass? Safety is one thing that I always hear from foreigners about. Many people are hesitant to visit the Philippines because of safety concerns. And, I would venture that the vast majority of those with such concerns don’t even know about these abysmal test results.
Personally, I do not feel that the Philippines is a dangerous place. When compared with other countries around the world, I doubt that the Philippines ranks badly in terms of danger compared to others, and I personally have no fears about living here. I feel as safe here as I have in any other place that I’ve ever lived. However, even if the Philippines were the safest country in the world (which it is not, certainly), that would be no excuse for 90% of police officers being unable to accurately fire their weapon. Nor would be an excuse for nearly 50% of police officers not even having a weapon at all.
Frankly, the excuse of ammunition being expense is a sham. The Philippines should most certainly be able to afford ammunition for it’s Police force. And, training too. It makes me wonder, how about the Philippine Armed Forces? Is their marksmanship training adequate? I hope it is better than that of the police.