Robbery at the center of Cebu City

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

The ease and daring with which it was carried out shocked many people, particularly Cebuanos.

I refer to the daring robbery at Oro Sugbo Pawnshop and Jewelry Store on November 25, 2023, in Colon Street, Cebu City. I use the word ease because the robbers planned it well, which was why there was no chaos.

Take, for example, the fact that perpetrators pretended to be agents of the National Bureau of Investigation. Two of the robbers bearing high-powered assault rifles were posted outside the shop. Pedestrians saw them, but there was no hint of any robbery inside the shop.

There's no question that the robbers were so daring. They carried out their plan during the very hours when people started to populate Colon Street. Indeed, many shops had just opened then, but many people were already passing to and fro. Add to that the fact that Gaisano Metro, where policemen are usually seen and where there is an elevated police post, is just a stone's throw away.

The robbers were not also onboard a van. They were on board three different motorcycles while carrying their concealed high-powered guns.

But I think the shock people feel about the robbery is not just how it was carried out, but also that they last heard of a robbery of such proportion quite a long time ago. I know I am exaggerating when I say a long time, but each day of peace and calm seems like forever for peace-loving citizens.

To be more specific, people now sense that the criminals have once again found their way back to the streets. Some people attribute it to the fact that their Tatay Digong is no longer the president. Ask an ordinary man, and he will give a similar answer.

Furthermore, a critical question in the public's mind is where the robbers obtained the high-powered guns. Ordinary citizens cannot possess such kinds of high-powered firearms nowadays. Imagine, the criminals were armed with M4 rifles with M203 grenade launchers. They were ready for a war.

If a firefight occurred on the very scene of the robbery, imagine the damage to property that would have happened. But more that, many innocent lives would have been lost. With the kind of firearms that the robbers carried with them, there is no doubt they were more than ready to engage the authorities.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon the police organization to leave no stone unturned in order to capture all the robbers. This robbery only confirmed what many have already known; the criminals are back. Snatching is back, illegal drugs are back, theft and robbery are back. And it looks like they’ve returned with a vengeance.

The response should be swift.

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