Metrobank Binondo branch robbed before opening

Sofia Tomacruz
Metrobank Binondo branch robbed before opening
(3rd UPDATE) Manila Mayor Isko Moreno offers P1 million for the arrest of the 7 unidentified suspects

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Seven unidentified suspects robbed the Metrobank Binondo branch in Manila minutes before the bank opened on Thursday morning, July 11.

According to a police report, the robbery took place at about 8:40 am at the Metrobank branch along Sto. Cristo Street in Binondo, Manila. The Metrobank website said branch banking hours were from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

A statement from Metrobank said “no clients were affected” by the break-in.

The robbery comes at the height of the media frenzy over Manila Mayor Isko Moreno‘s campaign to restore the capital city’s old glory.

Moreno told reporters initial information showed some 7 suspects entered the bank then instructed employees to go inside a room in the bank office.

The suspects were able to steal an undetermined amount of money.

Moreno said police reported no one was hurt during the incident. The suspects though managed to escape and take with them the bank’s security CCTV recording.

Police from Manila, he said, secured a copy of the barangay’s CCTV.

Moreno offered P1 million for the arrest of the suspects, to be sourced from the city’s intelligence funds. He urged those with information to come forward to assist police.

I hope itong mga kriminal na ito, tumigil na po kayo. ‘Wag po kayo pumunta sa Maynila. We will pursue, hahanapin po namin kayo. Hindi namin kayo bibigyan ng kapanatagan. Hindi namin kayo papayagan na guluhin, perwisyohin ang mamamayan ng lungsod ng Maynila,” Moreno said.

(I hope these criminals would stop. Do not go to Manila. We will pursue you, we will hunt you down. We will be relentless. We will not allow you to make trouble here and disturb the citizens of Manila.)

Moreno visited the Metrobank branch at around 11:20 am.

The mayor said police were not allowed to immediately enter the crime scene, with bank authorities claiming this was a protocol imposed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. 

Manila police chief Brigadier General Vicente Danao said it took some 2 hours before police were allowed inside. 

Danao said of the 7 suspects, 5 entered the bank while 2 waited outside on motorcycles.

The Manila police chief said CCTV footage showed 2 suspects entered bank before the 9 am opening. This was “unusual,” according to Danao, though he stopped short of saying it could be an inside job.

Hindi pa natin masasabi ‘yun (We still can’t say that),” Danao said when asked if the robbery could have been coordinated with someone in the bank.

In a statement on Thursday, Grab Philippines Spokesperson Nicka Hosaka said they are offering a reward of P50,000 for any relevant information that would help in locating the suspect. Hosaka said they were informed that an individual wearing a Grab driver-partner’s jacket is a suspect in the robbery.

“Grab has issued thousands of these jackets over the years, and any one of these jackets may have been passed on or sold. That said, we are working closely with the local authorities to aid in their ongoing investigation, and we will provide relevant updates as new information becomes available,” she added.

For any leads, contact Grab at their hotline ‎(02) 883-710. – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.