Five armed men, who introduced themselves as members of the New People’s Army, barged into a rice dealership store in Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod City Saturday, took cash and valuables, and used the owner’s vehicle to escape.
Helen Uy, 53, of Narra Extension in Brgy. Villamonte and owner of the Abundant Marketing told the police that the suspects, who were armed with .38 caliber revolvers and .45 caliber pistols, barged into her store at about 8:15 a.m.
Uy said the suspects brought her, and her brother, Harry Uy, their customer Pablito Omambong, driver Peter Nacilla and house helper Queenie Tipolo to the second story of the store, where her family lives, and tied them up, using telephone cords.
She said the suspects took five cellular phones all valued at P30,000; a laptop computer worth P28,000, a closed-circuit television camera recorder valued at P60,000; a gold ring with a diamond worth P10,000; digital camera worth P23,000 and P20,000 in cash from their drawer.
After the robbery, the suspects used Uy’s Isuzu Crosswind vehicle, with plate number FFR-576, to get away, police records show.
When the suspects had gone, some of Uy’s employees, who had been hiding, untied them, City Police officer-in-charge, Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel, said.
The vehicle was recovered at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday at a vacant lot at the Capitol-Shopping Center area, Ordaniel said.
Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Battalion commander, said the case should be investigated thoroughly to determine if the robbers are indeed members of the NPA, as they may only be riding on the issue of rebels’ atrocities.
Investigation showed the suspects, who were not covering their faces and only wore caps when they staged the robbery, are not members of the NPA although they are from Bacolod City and neighboring towns.
Ordaniel added they already have leads on the identities of the suspects and are investigating a person who went to the store to do business with Helen Uy Wednesday.
Ordaniel also said he believes the recent spate of robbery incidents in Bacolod City could be intentional in an attempt to put the image of Bacolod in a bad light, especially because it is already the election period.
He said there is nothing to be alarmed about because the police is on top of the situation and the robbery incidents are isolated cases.
Two women were held up on a jeepney going to Brgy. Estefania on Tuesday; the following day, another woman was held up also on a jeepney going to Brgy. Bata, and on Friday, one of two men on a motorcycle robbed a woman, who owns a store in front of Police Station 10 in Brgy. Handumanan.*APN