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Monday, September 5, 2011

Ordinary day turns into a bloodbath; 5 dead after a daring heist


Monday, September 5 was just supposed to be an ordinary day for people in Cebu. For bank teller Lewin Surig, and security guards  Leofer Etac and Lito Undag, it was just supposed to be a routine delivery of cash to a money changer at Robinsons Place Cebu. For PO1 Roy Ceniza, PO1 Elrich Jourdin Catacutan , and PO1 Ernesto Silva of the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG), it was just a simple drive to the Cebu Palace of Justice to bring an arrested pick-pocket to the Prosecutor's Office. Their normal day were messed up by 4 robbers, who attempted a daring heist yesterday morning.

Among the six people mentioned, 2 are dead, 3 injured, and only one survived unscathed. The carefully planned robbery was actually botched when the Police Patrol Car of the MPG passed by the Robinsons Mall moments after robbers stole the bag containing 1.2 Million pesos cash that Lewin Surig was handling. The robbers shot the helpless teller's leg, while killing his security escort, and the guard watching over the armored van.

The policemen tried to shoot it out with the robbers, believed to be members of the Ozamis robbery gang. They were outgunned and 2 of them had to be brought to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds. PO1 Silva, who was uninjured was able to call for back-up. With the help of guards who pointed the way where the robbers went, the responding policemen were able to corner the 4 suspects in V. Ranudo street and another shootout occurred, resulting to the death of 3 robbers. The 4th suspect escaped and is still the subject of manhunt operations. The police were able to recover the bag containing the cash.

All in all, 5 people died yesterday from gunshot wounds. It was tragic to see how an ordinary day could turn into a bloody one. Many people in the mall are still stunned after witnessing such violence, not in a movie house, but in a food court at the mall. It is comforting to know that the robbers did not succeed and the police were able to respond immediately.

The day made us realize that we usually take for granted the jobs of bank tellers, security guards, and low-ranking policemen. On this day, many realize how important their roles in our society and how dangerous their jobs are. Some of us may complain about our low pay while sitting on a desk in an air-conditioned room. Some of us might even get angry when these tellers and security escorts walk in the mall like they own it. Some of us may even get annoyed when guards check our bags. Some of us even label policemen with animal names.

Their jobs are not easy and we should understand that they too have important roles in our society. A lot of us, I guess, forgot what we learned in kindergarten and elementary school about appreciating community helpers. September 5 should be a reminder that these jobs are essential and should be appreciated.


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