http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/stor...n-gun-deal-suggests-pnp-chief-to-replace-puno (Updated 7:40 a.m., Sept. 10) - President Benigno Aquino III is eyeing Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome to replace controversial Rico Puno as undersecretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. I actually asked Director General Bartolome also to consider resign earlier. He will be given a different position He might replace si Usec. Puno, Aquino said on Sunday on the sidelines of the the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Russia. President Aquino asserted that, after researching on the Internet, he suspected that the guns the government wanted to purchase for the PNP were overpriced, a deal which Puno was supposedly knowledgeable about. Aquino had asked the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to investigate why only a few bidders ended up vying for the contract for the PNP rifles. Bakit naging iba? Bakit nawala yung ibang bidders? Bakit pati yung pito na kumuha ng bid documents biglang umatras? Bakit yung presyo hindi kaalinsunod nung (dapat)? Aquino said during the press conference. He added that he also gave instructions to check if the weapons were overpriced, since he himself checked for rifle prices using the Internet. Aquino likewise said that he was surprised to learn that the purchase reached post-evaluation stage, when he already gave an order for the process to be stopped. Pinatanong ko nga, 'Bakit nagkakaroon ng testing kung ang utos sa inyo ay ihinto?' Lahat ng involved doon, medyo floating muna lalo na yung uniformed personnel, he said. The President further said that Puno knew about the arms deal, although Aquino maintained that he still trusts the DILG undersecretary. He [Puno] is my eyes and ears. Gusto kong ma-evaluate doon kung gaano ba ka-diligent siya doon sa pagmi-meet ng mga utos, Aquino said. Yet at the same briefing to Filipino reporters traveling with him to Russia, Aquino said he is considering replacing Puno with PNP chief Bartolome. Bartolome was named PNP chief in September last year. He is set to retire in March next year. Aquino, however, said that he wants Bartolome to turn over the police forces top post to another official even earlier than March to give the next PNP chief the time to prepare for the May 2013 midterm elections. PNP chief 'surprised' Bartolome was surprised over reports Aquino may appoint him DILG undersecretary to replace Puno. But Bartolome declined to comment further as he said his concentration now is on preparations for the 2013 elections, radio dzBBs Tuesday Niu reported Sunday. The President however clarified that Puno, his controversial shooting buddy, has not yet resigned as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary. Puno is presently DILG undersecretary for peace and order. The other undersecretary, Austere Panadero, is undersecretary for local government. Aquino ordered Puno to secure Robredo files On Saturday evening, Aquino told reporters covering him at the APEC summit in Russia that he had ordered Puno to secure the office of then-missing Robredo, a day after his plane crashed in the sea off Masbate. Previous reports indicated Robredo may have been keeping confidential files on procurement cases that could have involved Puno. Aquino added that what was actually under investigation was the process of procurement of 9mm-caliber guns, and not Puno himself, asserting that a person is innocent unless proven guilty. A day after the plane crash on Aug. 18 and with Robredo still missing Puno and several accompanying police officers tried to enter the DILG secretarys condominium unit along Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City. According to one of the accompanying policemen, P/Sr. Superintendent Oliver Tanseco, Puno received instructions from Aquino to place Robredos residence and offices under lockdown. However, the buildings personnel refused Puno and the policemen entry beyond the buildings lobby. Puno and his party did not try to force the issue. LBG/AC/ELR/HS, GMA Wanna kill these ads? We can help!