MANILA – Authorities on Friday disclosed it took 2 hours before they were allowed to investigate Thursday’s robbery at Metrobank branch in Binondo district, citing the management’s lack of cooperation.
In a press briefing at the Manila City Hall, Manila police director Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. showed footage from closed-circuit television cameras showing the timeline of how 5 persons of interest left the bank around 9 in the morning. All of them remain unidentified, except for one who was only recognized as “Alyas Pilay.”
The police received a call for assistance 9:18 a.m., then arrived 2 minutes after.
However, authorities were only able to enter the bank when Manila Mayor Isko Moreno arrived at the area 11:30 a.m., or about 2 hours and 10 minutes after the 5 men escaped via motorcycles.
“Ang lapit po ng crime scene sa station. Kung nakausap lang sana natin kaagaad [ang mga biktima], baka nahuli sa na [ang mga suspect] sa dragnet. Ang problema kasi, ’pag punta ng pulis, ni hindi natin ma-confirm kung may holdap,” Danao lamented.
He said police are still getting statements from bank employees and other witnesses. Three security guards are still in the custody of Binondo Police Station for interrogation.
Authorities are still investigating the possibility that the heist was an inside job.
“The best way to do it is to really doubt that everybody can be considered as suspect until they clear their names,” Moreno said.
The mayor said bank employees can also be held liable “if the police investigator will find that they obstructed.”
“Ito kasi, unwilling to cooperate ’yung victim. Ito lang ang kilala kong victim na andap, may agam-agam. Kesho sabi ng security, may BSP protocol, blah blah blah,” Moreno said. “Never ever interfere in the police investigation. That is obstruction of justice.”
Moreno and ride-hailing firm Grab have offered P1 million and P50,000, respectively, for any information that would lead to the arrest of the bank robbers. One of the persons of interest was wearing a Grab jacket.