MOA robbers used wrenches, not hammers

Posted at 03/31/14 7:22 PM

MANILA -- Robbers who caused mayhem Sunday night at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City used pipe wrenches and not hammers, Pasay City police said Monday.

In an interview with DZMM, Pasay police station head Senior Supt. Florencio Ortilla said two suspects were hurt in the incident.

Shoppers at the mall helped police in apprehending the suspects, he said.

Ortilla said one suspect, Ryan Bansawan, went to a restaurant to hide, but was arrested.

"Siya lang ang nahuli. Mula sa 8 hanggang 10 suspek na nanloob sa department store, sa jewelry store," he said.

A caliber .45 handgun and a bag filled with clothes were recovered from Bansawan.

Ortilla believes that the suspect wanted to change clothes to blend with the crowd.

He said the suspects used pipe wrenches, contrary to what was previously reported.

"Hindi sila gumamit ng martilyo. Ang ginamit nila, isang pipe wrench. Dalawa po ito na nakuha sa lugar ng insidente na iniimbestigahan natin ngayon dahil meron tayong lead na kung saan nila binili itong pipe wrenches na ito."

Ortilla said the wrenches used by the suspects were not bought inside the mall but in a nearby store.

He said the suspects may have entered through the mall's open space with their wrenches before they went to the department store.

The suspects also entered the mall separately, with 3 to 4 suspects entering through the mall entrance, while the other suspects with guns and wrenches entered through another area.

The police have a copy of a closed circuit television (CCTV) footage from the mall and will release photos of the suspects.

In a separate interview with dzMM, Bansawan said a neighbor, whom he identified only as "Justin," asked him to buy a gun in Quiapo.

Bansawan, who lives at the FTI Compound in Taguig City, said he did not know what the gun will be used for.

After buying the gun, he was allegedly instructed to go to MOA to meet up with "Justin," a certain Bryan Lomenda, and their companions.

He was then told that they will break into a jewelry store, and was instructed to wait outside a restaurant.

He claimed that he did not enter the mall, and only his companions who had guns entered the mall's premises.