MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen barged into a hotel in Pasay City early Tuesday morning, January 2, and made off with P53,000 in cash and some P1.5 million worth of valuables from two guests after failing to force the manager on duty to show them the establishment’s vault.
Closed circuit television of Mabuhay Manor captured the four robbers entering the hotel past 3 a.m. with the security guard and a guest who they were holding at gunpoint.
On reaching the concierge station, they frisked hotel guests and too their belongings.
Among the guests was Filipino-American Dominador Castro, who was checking out. They took his watch and jewelry and his and his companions’ luggage, valued at an estimated P1.5 million.
The gunmen then ordered everyone to lie prone on the floor.
They then tried to force duty manager Rudy de Guzman to show them the hotel vault and open it, hitting him when he refused.
“Nakita ko na lang may baril … (may) silencer ‘yung baril (I saw the guns … the guns had silencers),” De Guzman said. “So tumayo na lang ako, ayaw ko kumilos, baka mamaya kung mag-isip siya na mag-escape ako, barilin talaga niya ako (So I stood still, I didn’t want to move because if they thought I was trying to escape they might really shoot me).”
De Guzman also said he threw away the key to the hotel vault so the robbers wouldn’t find it.
He said he was dragged from office to office as the robbers vainly tried to make him point out where the vault was.
When they failed, they took the cash from the hotel register, the cellular phones of employees and the guard’s firearm before fleeing.
De Guzman admitted security was lax even though the hotel was full for the holidays.
But he pointed out that in his almost 10 years at the hotel, nothing like this had happened before.