Thursday, October 21, 2021

Team to go after BPO agent’s killer

A team was created by the police to arrest the two men who robbed and killed a 37-year-old call center agent in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City yesterday dawn.

Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said they are hopeful that the case will be solved since there was a witness who saw the faces of the assailants of Loraine Temple, a native of Zamboanga City.

He ordered the investigators to request the crime laboratory personnel to get the killers’ composite sketches.

Temple was reportedly robbed in the past, but she fought off the culprit.

When asked what a person should do when a robber held him at gunpoint, Sinas said it is better not to resist.

In 2017, two call center agents were victims of robbery with homicide in Cebu City. Aireen Adolfo, 24, was found dead with her head smashed with a rock in a private lot in Barangay Pulangbato in July last year.

She was seen carrying a bag with a wallet and an ATM card, an expensive mobile phone and makeup items inside.

Adolfo reportedly received money from a sibling abroad. Two men were arrested for the crime.

Two months later, Maxi Bolongaita, 29, was found inside her room with a gunshot wound on her chest. She was a disc jockey.

The alleged killer, Reynante Mambiar, was traced by the police at a public hospital being treated for a stab wound in the face and lacerations in the body.

A witness executed his affidavit stating that he saw Mambiar clinging to the second floor of the victim’s house in Barangay Busay.

In Temple’s case, she was walking alone along Pope John Paul Ave. in Barangay Mabolo about 2:50 a.m. when two robbers accosted her and grabbed her bag.

But Temple refused to give her bag, prompting one of the culprits to shoot her. The suspects then fled on board a motorcycle.

According to the victim’s fellow call center agent Hazel Namit, Temple used to drive a car, but she stopped after encountering a minor vehicular accident about a month ago.

Temple was on her way home after her 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift in one of the business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the area.

Temple’s mother is in the United States. She lived with an aunt in Lapu-Lapu City.

Mabolo Police Station Chief Dindo Alaras said they obtained a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage that captured the culprits, but the video is not clear.

The culprits both wore full-faced helmets, but a witness saw their faces as they had no bonnets on.

Meanwhile, Wilfredo Jun Sa-a, managing director of Cebu IT-BPM.Organization, expressed his concern on the incident.

“We are sorry to hear of this unfortunate incident, but we are very optimistic that Mayor Tom (Tomas Osmeña) will once again show his support for the IT/ BPM industry. We know that he is closely monitoring the events happening and the clamor of the people in this industry. The IT/BPM industry has created so much job and business opportunities for Cebu. So we are hopeful that the Mayor will take appropriate actions to keep our city safe for the BPM workers—our modern day heroes,” he said.

Solutions mulled

On his Facebook post, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said, "Starting in Mabolo, the City Government will be holding consultations with the BPO industry" to conduct a study of a "small bus system" that will fetch workers to and from work.

"There will also be widespread installation of CCTV cameras in the streets to act as a deterrent to potential crime and to monitor and respond to any incidents that occur," he added.

The mayor also said that a volunteer neighborhood watch will be created to "escort those who work at night."

"The City Government will support these volunteers with flashlights, snacks, etc. Because they already have motorcycles and know the area well, habal-habal drivers would be especially effective and will be supported with fuel," he said.

Osmeña assured that they will immediately work on the solutions he mentioned.

"I want the people of Cebu and especially the BPO employees who are most affected by this, I want you to know that I can hear you," he said. (KAL with KOC)


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