MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Philippine officials say more than 27,000 police officers -- about a fifth of the national force -- do not have government-issued guns. Instead, they rely on their own guns.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad says $5.7 million (254 million pesos) has been set aside to better arm them against outlaws. The money will buy about 13,000 9mm pistols to arm less than half of the police officers and recruits without government-provided firearms.
Abad said Wednesday: "We cannot afford a toothless security force. We need to make the proper investments to boost our anti-crime campaign across the country."
National police spokesman Agrimero Cruz Jr. says the problem has forced many police officers to use their own firearms to battle criminals and insurgents.