The online news portal of TV5
SURIGAO CITY, Philippines -- One person was killed when robbers struck a jewelry store here and carted away an estimated P4 million in loot Friday morning even as alumni from two schools were holding parades.
The robbery happened two days before the city’s fiesta on Monday.
Eleazar dela Torre, 43, a repairman of Parinas Jewelry and Pawnshop was shot dead by one of the robbers as he grappled with the lookout.
Police said the robbers, all of the masked, arrived around 7:45 a.m., just a few minutes before the jewelry shop opened.
Two of them entered the shop, a third stood watch outside and the remaining two waited nearby on a motorcycle.
The broad daylight heist on one of the city’s busiest streets shocked many residents.
“Melay,” who attended the alumni parade of San Nicolas College, now St. Paul University, said, “Bagan kahadlok na man na jao na bajay mga armado dire magsuroy suroy ra lamang (It’s kind of scary that armed men can just roam around the city).” The other school that held its annual alumni parade was the state-run Surigao State College of Technology.
Reacting to the robbery, Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas called the police, Land Transportation Office, business leaders and barangay tanod to an emergency meeting and ordered the suspension of the ordinance requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets starting 4 p.m.
Matigas said 160 soldiers and additional policemen, as well as plainclothes operatives, have been deployed to the city to beef up security as he noted that criminals might be exploiting the festive mood.
He also urged vigilance among residents, saying the owners of the jewelry shop informed him that unidentified men had been seen taking pictures of their store on Friday.
“We should also look into this because apparently they noticed this incident. They could have alerted the police already about this,” he said.
Reacting to the robbery, Councilor Jose Expeditus Bayana said in a text message: “There is a breakdown in the law and order in the city.”