Déjà vu robbery-A A +A
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
IN A minute and 15 seconds, five armed men and a woman took P1 million in jewelry from the F & C Pawnshop and Jewelry Store in a daring robbery over the weekend.
Just like that. Believed to be members of the Ozamis robbery group, they slipped through our ports and airports with their high powered weapons.
To think, our PNP has regaled us with stories on Comelec checkpoints arresting suspects for possession of guns during the election gun ban. More like catching small fries and minnows.
A vendor saw the suspects who entered the pawnshop and 10 men with long firearms manning the traffic and serving as look-outs. Where oh where can our police officers be?
As many smart-aleck wags put it, police intelligence is an oxymoron, a contradiction of terms. Mulleta reported two weeks ago that they investigated the intelligence report of the alleged presence of the Ozamis group in Bacolod but it turned out, according to Mulleta, to be negative.
Well, the proof of the pie is in the pudding. I'll grant it might not be the Ozamis gang. But the point is that there is an armed gang armed with high-powered weapons roaming around Bacolod. And our law enforcers are hapless and helpless to stop them.
It's a wonder that it took some time for City Police officer-in-charge Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel before he sacked Intelligence Branch chief Senior Insp. José Mulleta.
Look, the Ozamis group is believed to be the mastermind the P3.6 million heist at the Central Negros Electric Cooperative, and the perps who ransacked Prenda Negrense and Jewelry store almost a month ago.
Déjà vu, over and over. Once is enough, two is too much, three is poison. How about the fourth? Or will there even be a fifth? It seems Bacolod is turning out to be the armed robbers' paradise for plying their criminal trade.
Inside the pawnshop was a closed circuit television camera revealing how the suspects entered the F & C Pawnshop and Jewelry Store through its front and back doors and immediately neutralized the security guards.
Obviously, the robbers are very confident that the CCTV failed to deter them from committing the heist.
And oh, what's this? Ordaniel said the BCPO radio room operator misinformed the Station 1 police officers, sending them on a wild goose chase to go to a different pawnshop. Amateurs? In cahoots with the robbers? Take your pick of conspiracy theories and comedy of errors.
Ordaniel said that it was a "blessing" that the police arrived late, or there could have been an exchange of fire, that could result to collateral damages among civilians.
Are you serious? Our citizens who are in dire straits, and a police officer is even thankful that the cavalry came in late? That's like closing the barn door after the cows have fled.
Are we paying them taxpayers' money so they can come to our rescue after armed criminals have fled the crime scene? Gee, thanks, but no thanks!
Somehow, I'm unimpressed with that "accomplishment" of coming late to the rescue. From where I sit, our local PNP is providing our gun-lovers the perfect excuse to a) carry guns outside their homes; b) and perhaps even form vigilante groups if BCPO is unable to hack their jobs.
Are we supposed to expect the Ozamis gang or other similar criminal groups to laugh their way to rob the next banks or pawnshops? After all, our BCPO can report "Mission Accomplished, Sir. We avoided a shoot-out because our police officers came late to the rescue."
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 21, 2013.