Mayor Cortes, police, mall owners meet, discuss malls’ security measures

By: Norman V. Mendoza October 21,2019 - 08:02 PM

Mayor Jonas Cortes (center)  meets with J Center Mall management, police to discuss the security situation in Mandaue malls.| Norman V. Mendoza

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes met with the Mandaue City Police Office chief and mall owners in Mandaue City during an emergency meeting on Monday, October 21, to discuss security in malls amid the recent J Centre Mall heist.

Cortes set a meeting to mall owners or managers with their security head and the local police to implement counter-measures against robberies.

The meeting was called after the J Centre Mall heist last Saturday evening (October 19) which were done by 12 persons allegedly members of the Ozamis robbery group where they stole P130 million worth of jewelry items and P6 million cash from a money changer.

Read more: Following daring heist in JCentre Mall, Mayor Cortes tells establishments to beef up security

Though most of the suspects were neutralized where four of them were killed in action while five were arrested but around three or four are still ar large.

Cortes during the meeting pointed out that he would want to make sure that these malls in Mandaue would be well-secured as well as other business establishments and public places.

He said this would especially be needed with the Christmas season just around the corner and then the Sinulog Festival in January.

He said he was anticipating bad elements to take advantage of this events from pickpockets to robbery groups.

Police suggested that Philippine National Police personnel be allowed inside the mall for police visibility to prevent a possible robbery or any other crimes from happening there.

Currently, most mall’s standing policy with regard to authorities entering the mall is for them to deposit their firearms to the security guards of the mall before they will be allowed entry to the mall.

Though police were offered an area at the mall for police visibility through a Police Desk but they could not roam around.

Gaspar Malanquis, J Centre Mall security and safety manager, said they were going to look at these suggestions for possible consideration.

“We will review the mall’s policies with regards to safety and security,” said Malanquis.

Police Colonel Jonathan Abella, Mandaue City Police Office director, said that had been one of the concerns when it would come to providing mall security due to that mall’s security policy.

“Well and good if we are allowed to bring our firearms inside the mall, but, of course, civilian authorities must be checked if they are really authorities,” said Abella.

Read more: Rob group leader among four killed; five others arrested in Bogo, Sogod

Meanwhile, Cortes commended the quick action of the police in apprehending the perpetrators of last Saturday’s mall incident.

“We encourage all establishments to beef up their security measures as well as to come up with an evacuation plan if ever situations such as this or calamities will arise,” said Cortes.

He also ask all Mandauehanons to report any suspicious looking persons to the proper authorities./dbs

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