DAET, Camarines Norte (Oct 29, 2011) – Recent incidents of armed robberies targeting the business community threaten the economic lifeblood of this capital town and the business sector is pleading for help.
The most recent armed robbery was carried out in broad daylight in the morning of Oct 24 by 5 motorcycle-riding suspects with Visayan accent and resulted in the death of Allied Bank security guard, Rodan Bacuno Lonto, who was shot before one of the suspects grabbed from a bank employee a money bag containing cash and checks from KLT Trading.
Invoking the bank secrecy law, the management of Allied Bank refuses to reveal exactly how much was lost to the robbers.
Domingo Tang, Vice-Ppresident of the 300-member Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Camarines Norte, expressed alarm at the boldness of the robbers in carrying out a crimes in downtown area in full view of the public.
Tang also said that he knows of two other of their co-members at the Chamber who have been victimized by armed robbers.
But it appears that there are unreported cases and some local businessmen prefer to keep quiet about crimes committed against them for fear of their lives.
Daet Police Chief Arnulfo M. Selencio complains that victims of the armed robberies in this town are generally uncooperative in filing cases even if the suspects are identified.
The police chief cites the case of businessman, Romy Ong who has refused to pursue robbery cases against 4 identified suspects who robbed his New Era garment store back in July. In that same day, nearby HBC salon and beauty products was also victimized by robbers.
“Ito ang problema dito marami silang sinasabi sa kapwa nila negosiyante, pero takot naman silang ipursuigui ang kaso sa husgado, dahil armado daw ang mga suspects,” Selencio lamented.
Daet Mayor Tito Sarion has called the members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry to a dialogue with Camarines Norte Police Provincial Director, Sr. Supt. Roberto Fajardo.
As initial response, the police director has ordered an increase in the number of police checkpoints in the 12 towns of the province to closely watch motorcycle riding travelers, especially those riding in tandem.
Considered hotspots are the towns of Daet and its neighboring town, Talisay, where an entrepreneur and his wife were shot to death in Oct. 23 by motorcycle-riding supects who reportedly took away a land title document from the victims. (SONNY SALES)