By Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov. 17, 2012)
Two police precinct commanders in Las Piñas City have been relieved of their posts after a band of robbers virtually had a field day and broke into two branches of a courier service, both along Alabang-Zapote Road, Friday afternoon.
The LBC Express branch in Barangay Talon Uno was the first to be hit, as three men barged into the establishment and held the employees at gunpoint around 12:30 p.m.
Within three minutes, the robbers were able to make off with around P34,000, according to Las Piñas police chief Senior Supt. Romulo Sapitula.
Bold enough for one more job, the same trio barged into another LBC branch some four kilometers away, 15 minutes later.
This time, it was the LBC branch in Pamplona Dos that lost P16,000 to the robbers who pulled off the second heist also under three minutes.
The police chief has ordered the relief of Talon Uno police community precinct commander Insp. Ruel Palmiano, and Pamplona Dos PCP commander SPO3 Nelson Tablitas.
The three robbers escaped on a motorcycle toward Bacoor, Cavite province, but police said they were able to identify one of them with the help of security camera clips from the two shops. Investigators said the suspect’s photo had a match in their rogues’ gallery.
Sapitula said they are pursuing a man identified as Wilfredo Panongalinga alias Kulot, an alleged member of the Ozamis robbery group.
“It’s our policy that when there are high-profile crimes like these committed in broad daylight, we relieve the PCP commanders to see if there are lapses in their deployment,” the official told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
“We are determining where the police patrol teams were at that time,” he added.
No one was reported hurt in the robberies and the two LBC branches resumed operations on Saturday.