COMMENTARY: Loose security system

Feb 24-mar 2, 2011

Whoever have robbed the Gaisano Grand Mall in Tagum City must have made reconaissance first in the city that was hosting the 3rd International Rondalla Festival. No doubt about- as the security of the participating foreigners and local guests as well as the security blanket hovering around the New City Hall, which was the venue of the festivities where thousands of people gathered, had to be the first in the order of the security plan of the police while the military secured the peripheries of the city. There were two policemen who guarded the ill-fated Gaisano Grand Mall but just when they were out to take dinner, as told by Police Senior Inspector Jimmy Palomar, the robbers in three groups struck- at a time when the closing ceremony of the rondalla festival was going on at the Atrium activity hall inside the New City Hall.

Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy was angry over the robberies and he wanted that the crimes be solved by the police as soon as possible and the culprits be brought in the city for retribution and justice- and incarceration. We hope that the combined elements of the police and intelligence forces on the manhunt can apprehend the lead suspects while they already caught two “look outs” who could give more information and possibly testify in criminal cases against their companions. But since the robbers are criminals, they might already be on the loose, fleeing the arresting officers. Only a wanted tag would be put on them if cases would be filed from testimonies of the “look outs” and the long arms of the law are hoped for to catch the criminals.

Meantime, since the provincial police has discovered lapses on the part of the mall owner especially when the mall’s CCTV cameras were not working and mall security was obviously loose prior the robberies – unlike to the way NCCC Tagum accordingly does its tight security system with body searches and deposit system to guns of customers, it’s now time for the concerned mall and other business owners to put up tight security system taking lessons from the recent Gaisano Grand Mall robberies (but as quick reflex, they might have made already).

It was said that some mall and business owners are saving funds for their security, the reason why they have their own personnel guarding their own establishments or tapping security agencies without the full provisions of allowed guns and CCTV cameras. But beyond the security of the transacting customers, lesser security provisions cannot be justified for the security of their cash registers, incomes and profits including those of their tenants. It’s the last thing a big business owner would not do. But since the Grand Mall robberies had already happened, the mall owner might have already regretted, and the provincial police, too, for obviously not having monitored and checked earlier the loose security of the Gaisano Grand Mall and for not advising its owner to correct its security system that resulted to the recent robberies of the two pawnshops and Mandarin customers.- cha monforte

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