Saturday, January 26, 2013
Tension gripped building B of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City when about five gunmen barged into a jewelry shop and fired successive shots, sending mall-goers scampering to safety and forcing mall authorities to lock down the building Saturday night.
The incident was initially reported by mall-goers as a hostage-taking incident, but initial report from Senior Superintendent Florendo Quibuyen, Mandaluyong City police chief, showed it was a plain robbery-holdup believed to have been perpetrated by suspected members of the “Martilyo Gang.”
The incident occurred at past 7 p.m. Saturday.
Witnesses said they saw at least two heavily-armed men entering the building and breaking into the F & C jewelry store at the ground floor of the mall prior to the security alert.
A saleslady evacuating the building said two men with long firearms had allegedly targeted the jewelry section.
With the commotion, SM security men and police on the scene ordered all shoppers out of the building as all exits and entrances were shut and cordoned off. However, the suspects still managed to escape reportedly aboard motorcycles.
SM guards communicating through handheld radios were overheard talking about a possible “hostage” situation at hand.
But by 8:40 p.m., tension in the secured area of the mall had eased with media being allowed at the scene.
Quibuyen said police personnel are currently in pursuit of the suspects.
Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos proceeded to SM Megamall and joined Chief Superintendent Miguel De Mayo Laurel, Eastern Police District director, in reviewing the mall’s CCTV video. However, the video recording was not clear to establish the identities of the suspects.
“We believed that one of the suspects was injured,” Laurel said.
source Manila Bulletin
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Pepe Pimentel, a game show icon of "Kwarta o Kahon", has died following a bathroom accident in his suburban Quezon City home Thursday. He was 83.
Reports said Pimentel was found unconscious inside the bathroom by his wife who checked on her husband after the former host failed to come out of the toilet after nearly half an hour.
A bloodied wound at the back of the head brought his wife and local village authorities to conclude that the octogenarian had slipped while taking a bath and immediately fell unconscious.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
A DEDICATED bus service between TriNoma Mall in Quezon City and Clark International Airport will start tomorrow, Tuesday, in a bid to boost passenger traffic at the Angeles-City based aviation hub.
The "TriNoma-Clark Airport Lounge" will provide dedicated buses that will ply directly to the Clark International Airport on a 24-hour basis, Victor Jose I. Luciano, president and chief executive officer of Clark International Airport Corp., said in a statement on Monday.
“Connectivity to Metro Manila will be much improved when a dedicated first class bus service will start plying their route via TriNoma-Clark-TriNoma with affordable fare of only P200,” Mr. Luciano said.
“The Clark Airport Lounge is fully furnished located at the TriNoma Mall which is open 24/7 and passengers would have a taste of the first class amenities of the lounge," he added.
Mr. Luciano said the transport services would be provided by Philtranco, Genesis, Victory Liner and Five Star.
The statement said "passenger traffic is expected to further increase in the Clark International Airport with the scheduled opening of the TriNoma-Clark Airport Lounge on Jan. 15."
Clark International Airport recorded 1.31-million combined international and domestic passengers last year, up by 71.16% from 767,109 passengers in 2011. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Fritz Floirendo Sex Scandal: Manila City Hall Employee Arrested For Posting On Facebook His and GF's Intimate Photos
MANILA, Philippines -- A man who posted on social networking site Facebook a picture of him having sex with his former girlfriend may face up to seven years in prison, the chief of Public Attorney's Office (PAO) said Friday.
Manila City Hall employee Fritz Floirendo was arrested by police after his former girlfriend, identified only as 20-year-old "Nicole" (not her real name), accused him of uploading a photo of them having sex.
Floirendo denied posting the photo, saying Nicole also has access to his Facebook account.
But investigation by police showed that the photo was uploaded on the Internet using the cellphone of Floirendo.
Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta said Floirendo could go to prison for three to seven years and fined P100,000 to P500,000 for violating Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Voyeurism Law.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
MANILA, Philippines -- A house caretaker who reloaded the pistol of a man who went on a shooting rampage near Manila that left nine people dead is facing multiple murder charges, officials said Saturday.
John Paul Lopez, who worked for the gunman, Ronald Bae, surrendered to authorities late Friday, hours after the rampage, which left eight victims and the gunman dead, said Cavite provincial deputy police chief Dionicio Borromeo.
Eleven people were wounded in the incident in Cavite province's Kawit township, about 16 kilometres (10 miles) south of Manila.
The carnage occurred just days after the death of a 7-year-old girl who was hit in the head by a stray bullet during New Year's Eve revelry in Manila, sparking public criticism over lax gun control in the Philippines. Friday's rampage fueled pressure for more assertive action by authorities to deal with unlicensed firearms.
"This is really one of the worst shooting incidents in the Philippines, after the Maguindanao massacre," Borromeo said, referring to the November 2009 killing of 54 people, including 32 media workers, allegedly by followers of a powerful political clan in the southern Philippines.
Borromeo said Lopez, 27, explained that Bae, 41, had threatened to kill him if he did not reload bullets into the magazines of a .45-calibre pistol used in the killing spree.
Borromeo, however, said Lopez never tried to stop Bae or talk him out of the rampage, whose victims included a pregnant woman and her young daughter and 7-year-old girl.
"We will file a case against him of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder," Borromeo said.
He also said the Kawit police chief and his deputy have been relieved of their posts by senior police officials while they are being investigated for allegedly not responding to reports that Bae had fired his weapon behind his house four days earlier. Borromeo said records and officers' testimonies indicated they received no such reports.
It was unclear what triggered the rampage, but Bae had a "marital problem" with his wife, whom he left in northern Pampanga province and returned to his old home in Kawit for the New Year, Cavite provincial Gov. Jonvic Remulla said.
Bae's wife, Maria Elena, 36, said her husband left their house in Pampanga on Tuesday after a violent confrontation on New Year's Eve when her husband accused her of having an affair, which she denied.
"He was red in the face. It seemed like he was not himself anymore," she said, adding that he was on drugs.
"I am sorry for what my husband has done," she told reporters at a funeral parlour in Kawit with her husband's remains. Addressing families of the victims, she said, "Please don't blame me."
Bae, who was killed in a shootout with police, had been on a "drug and alcohol binge" with his friends since Wednesday, drinking and taking methamphetamine, Remulla said.
Bae also killed a 7-year old girl and wounded her 2-year-old sister and 4-year-old brother, who is his godson. The three children tried to shield themselves behind seat cushions, said their uncle Edwin Lacorte. The two children are in serious condition in a hospital.
Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman for President Benigno Aquino III, said the killings "will certainly fuel the efforts of the (Philippine National Police) in its drive against loose firearms."
Police estimate there are about half a million firearms that are either unlicensed or have expired licenses around the country.
The proliferation of firearms has long fueled crime, political violence and Muslim and communist insurgencies that have raged for decades in parts of the country.
Previous attempts by authorities to clamp down on unregistered weapons have yielded little result.
Oliver Teves, The Associated Press