PNP wants banks to allow responding cops to enter
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde will ask the Senate to draft a law that would compel banks and other establishments to give immediate access to policemen responding to robberies.
Albayalde over the weekend observed how police personnel were kept away for two hours from the crime scene of the July 11 Metrobank branch robbery in Binondo, Manila, with the bank citing protocol imposed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“Our police investigators need to be able to enter the crime scene. That delay could be the reason why the perpetrators were not arrested or immediately identified,” he told reporters in Filipino at a press briefing at Camp Crame on Friday.
Obstruction of justice
Albayalde said they could file a case of obstruction of justice against the bank personnel but he said this was not an isolated case as this had been a problem faced by PNP investigators not only in banks but in malls and hotels as well.
“It takes them very long to allow our investigators access,” he said.
“I think with Sen. Bato (dela Rosa) in the Senate, I will discuss that with him because that has usually been a problem. Before they (banks, hotels or malls) allow our policemen to enter or give their statements or provide copies of CCTV (closed-circuit television footage), it takes a very long time,” Albayalde said.
‘Time is of the essence’
He added that PNP investigators were also asked by the establishments to go through their legal departments.
“I think this is one good proposal for Senator Bato,” the PNP chief said. “We are concerned with this because when a crime happens, time is of the essence.”
The heist at the Metrobank branch along Sto. Cristo Street in Binondo was believed to have been perpetrated by at least seven men, two of whom gained access to the bank before it opened for business.
Police investigators responding to the heist were only allowed to enter the bank when Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso arrived two hours later at the scene and asked the branch manager and the chief security officer to give PNP personnel access.
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