UCPB in Surigao City robbed

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/09 November) — The local branch of the United Coconut Planters Bank lost a still undetermined amount of money to four armed robbers on Monday morning.

The robbers ordered the bank’s security guards at the entrance to drop on the floor and disarmed one of them before declaring a robbery at past 9am.

UCPB is located at along San Nicolas Street corner Diez Street and five blocks away from the city police station.

Supt. Veraque Acosta, city police chief said they were trying to identify the suspects based on the footage of the bank’s closed circuit television.

Police Inspector Joel Cabanes, head of the intelligence section told MindaNews the robbers swiftly carried out the heist.

“It was properly executed, it just took them a minute,” Cabanes said.

Cabanes said no one was hurt during the robbery as security guards were held at gun point.

“They grabbed the money at the bank counter table and left the bank,” he added.

He said the money contained in two bags had come from one depositor, which he could not name at the moment.

The suspects fled using two single motorcycles.

Cabanes said the robbers did not bother the other clients in the bank.

A police outpost is located across the bank, but the policemen assigned there were attending the flag-raising ceremony at the city hall at the time of the incident.

Bank manager Allaniel O. Bumanglag said he was scared to death by the commotion at the entrance. He thought the robbers would enter his office and force him to open the vault.

“It did not happen, they were just after the two bags,” he said.

Bumanglag said he could not divulge yet as to how much money the robbers took away.

“I don’t have a go signal from the head office to issue detailed incident report. One thing is certain that business will go as usual at one o’clock this afternoon,” he said.

Lanchelot Balaba, one of the bank’s security guards said the robbery took just a minute.

Traumatized, Balaba said it was his first to experience being victimized by robbers in his 26 years as a bank security guard.

Several meters away from the bank, the shotgun owned by his fellow security guard was thrown into the roadside by the fleeing robbers. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)