A GROUP of robbers posing as ‘policemen or NBI agents’ are on the loose in Metro Manila targeting casino or POGO operators or managers at every given opportunity, the Journal Group earned yesterday.
The National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major General Debold M. Sinas expressed belief that some dismissed rogue policemen are involved in the daring robbery-holdups, most of them having taken place in the southern part of the metropolis where many POGOs and casinos are located.
Last August, the NCRPO recorded two such incidents in Muntinlupa City wherein armed men who posed as ‘NBI agents’ and later members of the ‘Philippine National Police’ victimized over a dozen Chinese nationals and fled with millions in cash and valuables.
Southern Police District director, Brigadier Gen. Emmanuel B. Peralta said he has called for a case conference regarding the matter and has ordered continuing follow-up operations to identify and arrest the suspects.
Late morning Sunday, three of the suspects who posed as ‘policemen’ gained entry inside the posh Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City where they forced their way into the house a Chinese POGO firm manager, hogtied the victim and his companions and stole over P2.5 million in cash and valuables and two vehicles which they used in their escape.
Maj. Gen. Sinas has ordered a massive manhunt for the thieves and an investigation into how they managed to enter the supposed-to-be heavily-guarded exclusive subdivision.
The NCRPO is still investigating if the suspects belong to the same robbery-holdup gang led by three rogue policemen who were charged in court two weeks ago for robbing 15 Chinese POGO workers and their eight Filipino staff of more than P1 million worth of P1 million worth of cash and valuables last August 11.
Charged before the office of Muntinlupa City Assistant City Prosecutor Mary Glenn Moldez by the Muntinlupa City Police Station headed by Colonel Melecio Buslig were Police Officer 1 Ryan John Mercado, Corporal Michael Rikk Carpenas, Staff Sergeant April Nikko Faelnar and four John Does. Faelnar is already under restrict custody by his superiors.
PO1 Mercado was identified by Sinas as a former NCRPO member who went on AWOL (Absence Without Official Leave) status after he tested positive for substance abuse while Cpl. Carpena was described as a former member of the Muntinlupa CPS Tactical Motorcycle Riding Unit who went AWOL after being transferred to the NCRPO Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section.
A report from the NCRPO said that the suspects armed with high-powered firearms went at no. 125 Banaba Street in Ayala Alabang around 10:45 a.m. Sunday and introduced themselves as ‘PNP officers’ out to serve a warrant of arrest issued against 26-year old Chinese national Huang Mugen, the manager of the Billion Dragon POGO company.
At gunpoint, the gunmen dragged Mugen inside the master bedroom where they hogtied him. At the time of the robbery-holdup, the Chinese national was with his two Filipina stay-in housekeepers, a Filipina stay-in Chinese-Filipino translator and two male stay-in drivers.
The suspects ransacked the place and stole P110,000 in cash, a Bulgary watch, a gold ring and assorted gadgets before fleeing on board a Nissan Urvan and a Toyota Rush owned by the foreigner.
The total amount of valuables stolen was placed as around P2.513 million excluding the two motor vehicles.
Peralta said that the incident was reported to the SPD at around 1:40 p.m. Sunday, or nearly three hours after the heist, giving the suspects enough time to make good their escape.
An alarm has been flashed for the interception of the occupants of the two stolen vehicles.
The Ayala Alabang robbery-holdup came in the wake of an ongoing manhunt operation versus the suspects involved in the August 11 heist in the same city.
A record check showed that Cpl. Carpena survived an attack by motorcycle-riding gunmen along Manuel L. Quezon Avenue in Barangay Bagumbayan in Taguig City last January 6.
On the other hand, SSgt. Faelnar was identified as an active personnel of the Southern Police District Personnel Holding and Accounting Section.
Another suspect identified as Angelo Perlota, a driver of a service van being rented by the Chinese nationals is already under arrest.
Maj. Gen. Sinas said that the suspects posed a National Bureau of Investigation agents when they staged the daring heist in Muntinlupa City around 12:10 p.m. last August 11.
. These armed and dangerous criminals are now the target of a massive manhunt operation by my men,” Sinas told the Journal Group.
He also ordered the NCRPO Regional Intelligence Division to conduct follow-up intelligence check on the suspects and identify all their cohorts and probable hiding places.
SPD investigators said that the suspects barged inside Block 2, Lot 5, Ibarra Street in Rizal Village, Alabang City in Muntinlupa, identified themselves as ‘NBI agents’ and at gunpoint ordered the persons inside the surrender their cash and other valuables.
Fifteen Chinese POGO workers identified as Feng Lei, Dong Bao Long, Li Bing,Yu Hang, Zhai Wei, Xheng Ping, Yi Tongtong, Zhang Linyu, Buyi Hao Li Yung, Xin Ping, Lu Yonlong, Yang Yanlu, He Guang Ba, Huang Xing Liao and He Lou and eight of their Filipino employees were robbed by the gunmen.
The suspects managed to steal around P667,000 in cash, a diamond ring, several mobile phones and a silver necklace during the daring heist before fleeing.
During an investigation, the Muntinlupa City police found out from a security guard in the area that the suspects identified themselves as NBI operatives out on an official mission before they conducted the robbery-holdup.
However, a driver of the POGO employees identified as Perlota was found to be among the cohorts of the suspect during investigation. The driver confessed his involvement in the heist as the ‘tipster’ of the suspects.