PNP chief orders probe on mall robbery
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome ordered Thursday a thorough investigation on the robbery incident in Robinsons Galleria mall on Ortigas Avenue in Quezon City, which killed one person and wounded six others.
In a statement, Bartolome said he had directed National Capital Region Police Office (NRCPO) chief Director Alan Purisima to name Quezon City Police director Chief Superintendent Mario de la Vega to head a special investigation task group (SITG) that will look into all details behind the attack against two bank tellers and their security escorts who were about to deliver an undetermined amount of money to Sanrys money-changer shop. and also into the explosion caused by the grenades lobbed by the thieves at the Robinson’s Galleria at the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue this morning while they were fleeing.
The PNP chief met with members of the SITG to personally assess the progress of the investigation, according to the statement.
It also said Bartolome has mobilized the investigative and intelligence arm of the NCRPO to assist the SITG in gathering more evidence that would establish the identities of the perpetrators.
“The Chief PNP wants all available resources of NCRPO be focused on the speedy solution of this dastardly crime,” the statement said.
In support of the SITG, Purisima was also directed to include other NCRPO police districts, particularly the Eastern Police, to conduct parallel investigative and intelligence efforts.
In a press briefing earlier with De la Vega, he said police were looking into two suspects who forcibly entered the mall around 10:15 a.m. and then attacked security escorts identified as Rodrigo Villa and Roderick Reloso, and Security Bank tellers Vincent Mangatura and Leah del Mundo, who were, at the time of the incident, walking toward Sanrys.
Villa was declared dead on arrival in the hospital after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in the chest and thigh, according to Anne de la Cruz of the Medical City corporate communications department, while Reloso was in a critical condition.
On the other hand, the three others who were wounded, identified as Jeremy Rabe, Paul Adrian Sarmiento and Johanssen Dionisio, were reportedly hurt from the explosion outside the mall after the suspects hurled two grenades, where one exploded.
Authorities were still uncertain whether the suspects were able to escape with the stolen money.
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