Police officers were barred by the bank’s personnel from entering and conducting an investigation. It took two hours before the lawmen were allowed inside.
Edd Gumban
PNP mulls raps vs bank personnel
Rey Galupo, Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police is considering filing charges of obstruction of justice against the officials of a Metrobank branch in downtown Manila who prevented policemen from entering the bank following a robbery last Thursday, PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said yesterday.

“Puwede kaming makapagfile ng obstruction of justice dito,” he told reporters in Camp Crame.

Police officers were barred by the bank’s personnel from entering and conducting an investigation. It took two hours before the lawmen were allowed inside.

Albayalde said the police should have been immediately allowed  inside as the place is already considered a crime scene.

“In such incidents, time is of the essence,” he said.

Had the police been allowed to enter the bank earlier, Albayalde said investigators could have immediately obtained clues leading to the arrest of the robbers.

“With the delay, baka yun pa ang rason kung bakit hindi natin nahuli or naidentify ng mabilis yung mga suspects (it could be why the robbers were not captured or identified quickly),” Albayalde said.

2 robbers identified

Meanwhile, the Manila Police District (MPD) has identified two of the robbers, according to an insider.

An official said they have photos of the two men but are still trying to determine if “they are mere players or major participants in one of the most daring daylight robbery in Manila.”

The official said bank employees identified the suspects from a rogues’ gallery presented to them by investigators.

The robbers reportedly took P3 million that was about to be put into an automated teller machine before the bank opened Thursday morning, as well as an undetermined amount from the bank vault, the source said.

MPD officials were up all night on Thursday reviewing closed-circuit television (CCTV) videos of the heist, he added.

“Mayor Isko (Moreno) wanted this solved immediately and the intelligence group had been burning all lines to identify and arrest the suspects,” he said.

The source confirmed that they were indeed looking at an inside job and the bank’s three security guards were questioned all night.

MPD director Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. earlier noted that the robbers knew where the CCTV recorder was located “and they took it with them after getting the money.”

Probers are also looking at other motives other than money “since it is unusual that a robbery would occur after an election,” the source said.

“Usually crimes like these happen before a major election obviously because the robbers could be using the money for the campaign. Is it possible that this was conceived to humiliate the administration because the mayor had been the media’s apple of the eye recently?” the insider asked.

Moreno, in a press conference yesterday afternoon, said he could not help but think that it was an inside job, “considering the circumstances.”

“Because of this, I will ask the city council to pass a resolution that will enforce strict measures against persons who are wearing helmets, masks, sunglasses when entering financial institutions in the city of Manila,” he said.

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