PNP intelligence officers rapped for two robberies

Intelligence officers yesterday received a tongue-lashing from their superiors in the Philippine National Police (PNP) for failing to detect and prevent two high-profile robbery incidents in Metro Manila on Sunday.

The robbing of two jewelry shops – in Binondo, Manila and in Bicutan, Taguig City – came at a time when the PNP were on its highest alert for the possible upsurge of crime during the holiday season.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo reminded the head of the PNP Directorate for Intelligence, Director Renato Heredia, and the chief of the PNP Intelligence Group (IG), Chief Supt. Manuel Barcena, to give more focus on organized crime groups.

“I am reminding you that we should not lose our focus and we should always be a step ahead against these criminal groups… they are ones we should be watching,” Bacalzo was quoted by a PNP officer as saying.

The source, who asked not to be named, said that the PNP chief wanted the top PNP intelligence officers to put more effort in gathering more information on the activities of known criminal groups.

The PNP chief has also directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to start clamping down hard against organized criminal groups, especially those behind in the jewelry heist in Manila and Taguig City.

Members of the “Martilyo Gang” were reportedly behind in the robbery of a jewelry shop in Binondo, Manila on Sunday morning and of the robbing of another jewelry store inside the SM Mall in Bicutan later that evening.

However, the CIDG chief, Director Nilo dela Cruz said they still have to check the validity of this assumption. (Anthony Vargas)

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