THE PUBLIC is encouraged to help curb criminality by reporting "suspicious movements" to police, Metro Manila police Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Velasco told GMA 7's "Unang Balita."
"If the reporting system is good, we will react faster," Velasco
said, a day after robbers struck two banks and a pawnshop in the metropolis. Velasco
pointed out that the staff of the Union Bank
of the Philippines branch in Parañaque City took 35 minutes to report the robbery on Monday that gave the suspects ample time to escape.
"Pag ganyan, kahit maglakad ang magnanakaw mahirap habulin (If it's like that, even if robbers just walk away, they will be hard to catch)," Velasco
said the public could report crimes through the police phone and text line 117.
"In less than five minutes we can react," Velaco said. Velasco
also cited the case of the robbery on an armored car of the Security Bank Corp.
in Quezon City's Muñoz district also on Monday, where people in the area failed to report a "suspicious" Kia Pregio van parked near the site of the robbery.
The van was later used by the suspects as a getaway vehicle.
"It (van) was on standby with the engine running, that's unusual," Velasco
said. Velasco also said police were investigating the possibility that the recent string of bank robberies and kidnappings were linked to destabilization plots against the government, as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pointed out on Monday.