Cargo and courier firm in Surigao City robbed; suspects flee with nearly P1 million

SURIGAO CITY  (MindaNews/19 August) – Two unidentified armed men robbed the  main branch of the  cargo and courier service firm, LBC Express, early Saturday night, carting away nearly a million pesos from the day’s transactions.

According to police, the suspects, armed with a KG-9 pistol and a caliber 4.5 handgun entered the establishment through the back door at around 6:10 p.m. while they were about to close shop.

The suspects fled with P872,794.84.

The police received a call from LBC main branch team leader Bevina Jaboy Cosmiano, at around 6:20 p.m.

According to an employee, there were six of them inside the establishment when the armed men arrived.

The source, who requested not to be named,  said the suspects walked behind two LBC personnel who entered the establishment and upon entering, declared a hold-up.

Police, however, are looking into the possibility of an “inside job”

The police blotter noted that the company’s CCTV camera was “off from August 12, 14, 16 and 17 where in fact it is serviceable and functional.” It also added that the “statements of witnesses (don’t) corroborate with each other.”

Police Inspector Capt. Diomedes Cuadra, officer-in-charge of the Surigao City Police Office (SCPO)  said “definitely” they are looking into the possibility of an “inside job” but declined to  elaborate pending investigation.

Cuadra also denied reports they failed to respond immediately despite the presence of a police outpost nearby.

A police chase ensued when unidentified men on a black motorbike along the Marcos highway changed route upon reaching a police checkpoint.  The motorcycle riders proceeded towards Barangay Looc but the chase was cut off when a truck passed, blocking a road leading to the barangay.

Cuadra said they followed the motorcyle-riding men “but we are not sure if these were the same men.”

The robbery is the second in less than a year for LBC. Late last year, its branch along Borromeo Street was also robbed in broad daylight. The case remains unsolved.

A few days ago, a citizen’s group raised concern over the supposed breakdown of law and order in the city. The Coalition of Surigaonons for Good Government Transparency and Accountabiity (COSSUG-TA) raised an alarm on the unsolved killings in the city and province.

The group called a press conference on Wednesday in reaction to Rep. Francisco Matugas’ pronouncement that the attempted assassination of his wife, Sol, the governor of Surigao del Norte, last August 13, was the handiwork of his political opponents.

COSSUG-TA spokesperson lawyer Victor Bernal instead challenged Matugas and his wife to resolve the rising criminality in the province and city by using “its wide resources.”

A day before the assassination try, a Canadian national identified as Harry Joseph Alfred Doyle, 62, was shot and killed in broad daylight by two unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen.

Six shooting incidents have been reported between August 3 and 13 in the city.

On August 17, a public elementary school here was robbed by still unidentified men carrying with them several school equipment and paraphernalia.

Cuadra said the situation is “still manageable, no need to worry, just help the police by providing information.” (Vanessa L. Almedda/MindaNews)