Bacolor police face raps over town hall burglary

BACOLOR -- Members of the Bacolor police are facing administrative charges for alleged lapses and negligence after the robbery break-in at the town hall here last weekend.

The burglars, who remained unidentified, carted away P500,000 cash stashed at the safety vault of the Treasurer’s Office located just a floor above the police station.

Pampanga Provincial Police Office Director Rodolfo Recomono Jr. has put under investigation Bacolor police chief Romeo Balubal Jr. and three of his men who were on duty at the time of the incident.

“I’ve instructed the investigation branch to start its probe as part of the administrative procedure against Balubal and some of his men,” said Recomono.

He said the investigators will determine the lapses on the part of Balubal being the town chief of police, and negligence for his men on duty when the robbery break-in took place.

"We need to know whether they are doing their job and why they did not notice any commotion," said Recomono.

He said at least three policemen were on duty at the Bacolor police station, but it seemed no one noticed of the robbery on progress.

The break-in was discovered by Jonathan Visda, 44, a janitor for more than 20 years at Bacolor town hall, when he reported for work Monday. He said the robbery might have been carried out during the weekend.

Recomono added that a video footage of one of the suspects captured by security camera is being enhanced to clearly identify them.

Nelly Escoto, head of the Treasurer’s Office, told reporters that the cash taken by the suspects include sports development funds, cash advances, payroll and collections from quarry operations.

She declined to give the exact figure that was stolen but a lady employee who requested not to be named said the safety vault has P500,000 for deposit.

The suspects also barged into the Mayor’s Office but failed to find valuables and cash.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jose Maria Hizon offered a P100,000 cash reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.

Hizon believed that the bounty would help expedite the investigation and hopefully solve the case, which is being considered by authorities as a handiwork of a professional group. (Chris Navarro/Sun.Star Pampanga)

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