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P1M bounty offered for robbers' arrest
« on: May 18, 2008, 12:10:33 PM »


MANILA -- Government officials and private groups have offered a P1 million reward for a group of robbers who killed nine people during a bank holdup in Cabuyao, Laguna, police said Saturday.

Malacañang was also quick to assure that government is not too keen on reviving the death penalty law following the grisly bank robbery last Friday.

Police, on the other hand, are providing a round the clock security for the lone witness of Friday's bank robbery while a task force was created to go after the perpetrators.

In one of the country's bloodiest bank robberies, seven bank employees, a depositor and a security guard were shot in the head in gangland-style executions Friday, police said. One employee was hospitalized and in critical condition.

Related Stories:
9 killed, 1 injured in bank robbery
Police beef up security plans

Isagani Pastor, the lone survivor in the robbery and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation's (RCBC) marketing manager, is still in a critical condition in a hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Police failed to talk to Pastor as of press time Saturday due to his unstable condition.

There has been speculation the victims may have been killed because they knew some of the robbers. They were found sprawled on the floor of a branch of the RCBC in Cabuyao town, after suspicious customers alerted authorities when the bank failed to open as scheduled at 9 a.m.

Laguna Provincial Police Director Felipe Rojas said the Provincial Government and Senator Bong Revilla each offered P100,000 while a private group - Friends of the Philippine National Police - gave P800,000 to a reward kitty.

Rojas said two security guards initially reported missing have been taken in for questioning. Both denied involvement and are not currently considered suspects, he said.

He said both guards and all the victims were being tested to check if they had fired weapons. The guards are to undergo polygraph tests next week.

Rojas earlier said "many" robbers were involved "because this was a very complex operation." The robbers appeared to use the bank's back door.

On the other hand, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Rolando Golez Jr. said while the Palace is open to discussions on the matter, there is no proof the death penalty will deter crime.

"The Palace has a stand against the death penalty and we should discuss this thoroughly with the stakeholders. The Palace will be open if the discussions are open to talk about the death penalty," he said.

"But up to now there is no direct or scientific correlation between the death penalty and lowering of crime rates," Golez added.

The civil society group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (Vacc) said it supports the call for the revival of the death penalty.

"We urged the government to revive the death penalty and robbery with homicide should be included among the crimes punishable by death," said Vacc chairman Dante Jimenez during Saturday's press conference in Mandaluyong City.

Jimenez said they will offer assistance to the victim's families in the Laguna robbery.

He likewise urged the authorities to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for the perpetrators.

As of Saturday, the PNP has already formed "Task Force RCBC" to go against the perpetrators.

Task Force RCBC will be composed of investigators from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Crime Laboratory, and Traffic Management Group (TMG), all from the Region 4-A command, and the Laguna police, said PNP spokesperson Nicanor Bartolome. (JMR/AH/Sunnex)



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Re: P1M bounty offered for robbers' arrest
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 12:47:11 PM »
I will pray that the lone survivor, though in critical condition now will make it through so he can help the investigators in identifying the wild animals who killed the nine people in that robbery.
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