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Bank hit, businessman killed in 2 robberies
By Mia E. Abellana
Sun.Star Staff Reporter
June 30, 2007 (latest update)

THREE members of a robbery gang that pulled heists in Manila, Cebu and Bohol barged inside a secluded thrift bank Friday (June 29) afternoon.

In a separate incident in Sogod town, a businessman was killed Thursday morning when he decided to run away from five armed robbers who blocked his way. He lost an estimated P100,000 cash.

Men identified as members of the San Miguel, Bohol robbery gang ran off with an undetermined amount of cash and personal belongings of those inside the Metro Cebu Public Savings Bank in N. Bacalso Ave., Cebu City at 1:20 p.m. yesterday.

Cora Oliveras, manager of the Metro Cebu Public Savings Bank head office, said less than P100,000 was taken because they were not allowed to maintain a big amount in the bank. They have yet to conduct an inventory to find out how much was stolen.

One of the robbers went directly to the counter while another went behind the security guard to take his shotgun.

The bank’s employees, security guard and three bank clients were shoved inside the vault and threatened not to sound the bank’s alarm system or call the police, or else they would be shot.

15 minutes

A third companion waited outside with their getaway motorcycle.

It was not until they heard the sounds of other bank clients inside the bank that they decided to come out of the vault and call the police.

The Mobile Patrol Group received call for help at 1:35 p.m.

Shown photos of the police file on the San Miguel, Bohol robbery gang, employees identified Casimero “Meloy” Garcia, Cresencio “Bruts” Reguya and Rodolfo “Dupong Junjun” Atega.

Garcia was identified as the one who disarmed security guard Diolito Calago, while Reguya reportedly went to the bank tellers and declared the hold-up.

Atega also reportedly entered the bank at 11 a.m. yesterday to apply for a loan.

Garcia has a pending frustrated murder case in Talibon, Bohol.

2 weeks ago

The Anti-Robbery and Thievery Task Force headed by Supt. Pablo Labra II had launched an operation in Consolacion two weeks ago, hoping to arrest the gang members.

However, most of them escaped except for Garcia’s younger brother Valentino.

Valentino has revealed the group’s plans to rob a convenience store and a payroll courier in Mandaue City by June 30. Police believe they changed their plans when they read about Valentino’s revelations in the papers.

Valentino also claimed they were responsible for the heist pulled in front of Vic Enterprises last April 20, wherein truck manager Cotelde Ablan was shot.

The group has been tagged as responsible for the heists pulled in Unitop, Tagbilaran City on Dec. 28, 2006 where P500,000 was taken, the First Consolidated Bank in Bohol last Jan. 5 that lost P333,000, and the Caltex station in Talibon.

Police are also eyeing them as the ones behind the failed kidnapping of Filford Guani in Cebu City last month.

No signals

Two beat patrol policemen will also be made to explain where they were at the time of the robbery.

The two were assigned in the vicinity of the Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT), across the bank.

However, they did not notice anything because there was no commotion outside the bank.

Even social worker Asteria Geraldizo, 45, walked inside casually to withdraw money and was surprised to see an empty bank except for one robber who instructed her to enter the vault.

Police have been on the lookout for a robbery incident after learning that a bank was robbed in Bohol last week.

“We have been initiating counter-measures. However, they chose an unlikely target,” Labra told reporters.

Follow-up operations led police to scour the interiors of Barangay Lorega where the getaway blue motorcycle was reportedly spotted, but they returned empty-handed.

Blocked

As for the Sogod incident, Galicano Montebon in Sitio Cana-an, Barangay Buliwang, Tuburan town was on his way to Barangay Pansoy, Sogod to buy farm animals.

When they reached Sitio Balhin, Barangay Cabangahan, he and his motorcycle driver were blocked by three masked men.
The three men placed bamboo poles with thorns on the road, forcing motorcycle driver Vicente Rondina to stop.

The three declared a hold-up and demanded them to hand over their valuables.

Instead of heeding them, Montebon reportedly reacted by jumping off the motorcycle and running in the opposite direction. He was met by two other masked men who shot him. They grabbed his bag and wallet and then fled.

Concealed

Rondina brought his bleeding employer to the Juan Dosado Memorial Hospital but a doctor declared him dead on arrival.

SPO1 Arsenio Coming of the Sogod Police Station said the five were armed with .38 and .357 revolvers.

Police believe that because the five bothered to conceal their faces with masks, they were from the area.

He said Montebon was a familiar face in the mountains as a businessman who bought farm animals to trade.

Though they are not sure how much was taken from him, relatives told police that he always brought not less than P100,000 with him whenever he went to do business.



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