Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, January 19, 2009

Construction workers, caretaker eyed in burglary in Monsod residence in Subic

MANILA, Philippines – Investigators are eyeing construction workers and a caretaker as possible suspects in a burglary inside the residence of economist Solita Collas-Monsod at the Subic Free Port in Zambales province last December.

In a radio dzBB interview on Monday, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza said men working in renovation and construction sites inside the exclusive subdivision where the Monsod residence is located could be behind the burglary.

"Marami kasing construction sa site na iyon kaya ang una nating tinitignan baka mga construction workers [There are many construction sites inside the subdivision so construction workers may be the suspects]," Arreza said.

The SMBA administrator said that a number of houses inside the 100-home exclusive subdivision are currently undergoing renovation, most of which are located near the Monsod residence.

Local authorities learned about the break in last December 19 after the caretaker of the Monsods reported the matter to local police. The burglary happened while the Monsods were not in the said residence located along Kalayaan Drive inside a private subdivision in Subic.

Arreza said the unidentified robbers carted away an “unusual" loot composed of comforters, food, and a stereo system. Investigators said there was no forced entry in the incident.

"Unusual na ninanakaw ang comforter at pagkain. Usually ang ninanakaw ay iyong madaling ibenta [It was unusual to take away comforters and food. Robbers usually take with them things they can easily sell]," Arreza said of the suspects’ loot which he described as "selective."

Missing caretaker

Investigators are also looking for another one of the Monsod family’s caretakers who had gone missing since the holidays and has yet to report back for work.

"Tinitignan natin iyong katiwala kasi napakasuspicious at unusual naman na hindi ka magpapakita ng Pasko [We are also looking for a caretaker. It’s unusual the caretaker left before Christmas]," Arreza said.

Arreza admitted authorities are having a difficulty locating the wanted caretaker because the latter has no personal record with the SBMA. The Monsods and the authorities only know the missing caretaker by first name.

"Itong katiwala nila hindi naka-register kaya mahirap i-trace. Ang alam lang namin ay ang first name nila na binigay nila Mrs. Monsod. Pero kung walang surname at address hindi namin ma-te-trace," Arreza said.

["The caretaker is not registered with us. We don’t even know the caretaker’s surname and address."]

Security lapse

According to Arreza, apart from the private security tapped by the home owners’ organization, the SBMA also extends its security men to guard the exclusive subdivision.

He said they are checking if there had been lapses on the part of the subdivision’s security. "Isa sa potential lapses na tinitignan natin ay iyong mga construction workers minsan [na] kapag walang ginagawa [ay] gumagala [One of the possible lapses is that construction workers are allowed to loiter inside the subdivision]."

Arreza said as a result of the burglary, they have begun prohibiting construction workers from sleeping over inside the subdivision grounds.

"Ang ginawa na nga natin na patakaran hindi sila pwede mag-overnight. Pagdating ng 5 p.m. pinapauwi na sila," Arezza said, adding that identification cards of construction workers going in are strictly being checked.

Arreza assured that the incident is not something that should trigger alarm because crime incidents inside the exclusive subdivision rarely happen.

"The crime rate inside the subdivision is low. It’s not totally zero crime rate but house break-ins only happen once or twice a month," Arreza said in Filipino.

Arreza said investigation is still ongoing as of this posting even as patrol operations had been beefed up inside the subdivision.


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