SM Megamall guards may have been ‘too lax’ – police
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Monday it would summon four private security agencies providing security to SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City following Saturday night’s daring jewelry heist carried out by six robbers inside the establishment over the weekend.
Chief Superintendent Tomas Rentoy, chief of the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA), said the initial police investigation showed that the security guards committed at least three lapses in responding to the robbery.
Saying the mall guards may have been “too lax,” Rentoy said the four security providers— Lambdan, Link Security, Blue Dragon and Star Force—may be fined or face suspension of their operations should they be found guilty of violating the regulations set by SOSIA.
“How did the perpetrator with a gun enter the establishment? The SOP (standard operating procedure) is to frisk or use metal detectors to determine if a person is armed,” he told reporters.
He said the four security providers should also explain why six of their personnel who rushed to the scene did not have firearms as seen from the footage taken by the mall’s closed-circuit television camera.
“They should also explain how the perpetrators were able to leave the mall without being detected by the guards,” he added.
Meanwhile, two of the suspects were facing charges in court for their involvement in several robberies in Metro Manila but were released after posting bail, the police said.
Although computer-generated digital sketches of the two were released on Thursday, the police did not identify them. Senior Supt. Florendo Quibuyen, Mandaluyong police chief, said the sketches were based on descriptions given by witnesses.
One of the suspects was described as between 30 and 35 years of age, 5’5” to 5’6” in height and with a fair complexion. He was seen on the mall’s closed-circuit television camera smashing the jewelry glass display cases on the ground floor of SM Megamall.
The other suspect, the only one who was carrying a gun among the six men, was between 35-40 years old, of slim build, 5’5” to 5’6” in height and with brown complexion.