Security agencies in SM Megamall face penalties

By Kathlyn dela Cruz,

Posted at Jan 29 2013 04:34 PM | Updated as of Jan 30 2013 04:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Police - Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA) on Tuesday started its investigation on the lapses of security agencies during a robbery incident in SM Megamall last Saturday.

SM Megamall is manned by guards from four security agencies, namely: Starforce, Link Security Services, Blue Dragon and Lamdan Security Agency.

The PNP earlier said lapses in the mall's security enabled armed men to rob a jewelry store inside the mall.

Sr. Supt. Buenaventura Viray, deputy chief of the PNP-SOSIA, said representatives from the four security firms were asked to attend the probe today to determine their personnel's lapses during the robbery incident.

"They were invited para maimbestigahan po sila at malaman what really happened to determine what other lapses dun sa security measures," Viray told ANC's "News Now."

Viray said the security agencies as well as the guards may be meted with fines and suspensions if found guilty of committing violations of Republic Act 5487 or the Private Security Agency Law.

"Both the security agency and the security personnel or guard, may corresponding penalty... Sa security agency, for the first offense is administrative fine of P50,000 and for the security personnel a fine of P500 and suspension for a period of 1 to 30 days," he said.

Viray said they aim to find out where the guards of each agency were specifically assigned and who among them responded to the robbery incident.

Alleged members of the notorious "Martilyo Gang" robbed the F and C Jewelry Store last Saturday by using a pipe wrench to break the glass jewelry case.

At least 150 pieces of jewelry were taken during the robbery. The robbers allegedly fired shots to trigger panic among the shoppers, allowing them to blend in and escape.

The PNP-SOSIA said the security guards failed to conduct thorough frisking of those entering the mall, allowing the suspects to enter with their guns.

They also found out that the first security guards to respond to the robbery incident were not armed. -- With reports from Dharel Placido,; Gus Abelgas, ABS-CBN News