Warden denies Panday bolted jail to rob SM

By Gus Abelgas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2013 05:13 PM | Updated as of Feb 01 2013 03:09 AM

MANILA – Manila City Jail on Thursday vehemently denied that suspects Ben Panday and 2 others, who have been detained since January 2012, slipped out and participated in the SM Megamall robbery last Saturday.

Manila City Jail warden chief Supt. Lyndon Torres said it’s impossible for Panday, Mark Calama and Basir Basilon to escape and return because they are very strict with their security. 

Torres said they conduct headcounts twice a day and they have 24-hour CCTV cameras monitoring the detainee areas.

The warden added that the witnesses could have mistakenly identified the suspects as they have totally different features now.

However, he said they welcome the investigation. 

Meanwhile, Eastern Police District (EPD) director chief Supt. Miguel Laurel is still not discounting the possibility that Ben Panday Group was behind the heist. 

He said Panday may not have participated in the heist, but one of the suspects was identified as a member of the group. 

Their witnesses could not have clearly identified Panday as they are still in the process of elimination of suspects in the robbery.

He also said business establishments in Pasig City are being monitored by the EPD.

They are assessing and reassessing the security capability of the security guards in their area of responsibility.   

Additional equipment, radios for communications have been given to police and guards to beef up security.