MANILA, Philippines—Two of four plainclothes policemen deployed Friday to test security at a new mall in Quezon City managed to get past the mall’s security guards and metal detectors, not once but twice, although the two others were caught, police said.
All four went through the Aurora Boulevard gate of Robinsons Magnolia, where thieves recently shot it out with guards after stealing an expensive spare tire of a vehicle parked inside.
Inspector Elmer Monsalve, homicide section chief, said he hid his .45-claiber pistol in the crotch area of his jeans and was able to get past the main entrance guards twice.
“I went straight inside everytime. They did not notice everytime they frisked me at the sides. The metal detector alarm even went off,” Monsalve said after the exercise.
Police Officer 2 Julius Balbuena of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit was also able to sneak in his pistol, snug in the crotch of his jeans.
“I went in twice. They checked my backpack but didn’t find my gun hidden in the front of my pants,” he said.
Two other CIDU policemen were caught with their guns. One who wore his in a holster tucked in his waistband, while the other hid his pistol in a small sling bag.
QCPD director Senior Superintendent Richars Albano said mall security must be tested to avoid a repeat of the daring robbery of a jewelry store in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City last month.
He added that the QCPD will be sending out more “rabbits” and that Quezon City malls must be on their toes.
“We are not here to discredit the security of the malls. This should serve as a warning and a lesson to mall security,” Albano said.
Robinson’s Magnolia security manager Pepe Galantao said the mall remains safe even though two policemen managed to smuggle guns inside.
“We will be reviewing what happened,” Galantao said, adding that their mall security was usually strict.