By Aie Balagtas and Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star)
Sept. 18, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – The Southern Police District (SPD) released yesterday the photographs of three men allegedly involved in the robbery of an armored van at the Alabang Town Center (ATC) in Muntinlupa last Friday.
In a press briefing, SPD director Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona presented the pictures of Ricky “Kambal” Cadavero, Michael Dumalo, and an alias KC, all members of the Ozamis robbery group.
The three are part of the 13-man team that robbed a bank teller who was about to deliver a duffel bag full of cash to a branch of Czarina Foreign Exchange inside the mall.
The group was led by Cadavero, reportedly a bank robber “known in the underworld,” said Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa, officer-in-charge of the Muntinlupa City police.
Based on witnesses’ accounts, Cadavero had been seen casing the mall for five days prior to the heist. He was usually seen in barong and wearing several pieces of jewelry. He was also in ATC during the attack last Friday, said Estipona.
The group had been lurking near the mall’s Madrigal Avenue entrance until the targeted armored van arrived about 10 a.m.
The bank teller alighted together with a security guard. When the two approached the mall entrance, KC lobbed a hand grenade but did it not explode.
This gave the security guards a chance to engage the three robbers, including KC and Pepito Paler. After the firefight, Paler was found dead, while three guards (not two as earlier reported) were wounded.
The duffel bag, meanwhile, went missing. According to Estipona, based on surveillance camera footage, the teller let go of the bag after seeing the grenade. KC picked it up while exchanging fire with the guards.
Four men on motorcycles fetched KC and his still unidentified companion. During a follow-up operation, a red Mitsubishi Lancer with a shattered windshield was found near the crime scene.
Estipona said upon verification, they found out that the car had been sold several times until it was bought by Dumalo. “He (Dumalo) did not want any deed of sale, which was very suspicious,” Capa said.
Friday’s heist is the second time this year that ATC was attacked by armored van robbers. Last February, members of the Ozamis robbery group targeted another branch of the Czarina Foreign Exchange at the ATC