Friday, May 16, 2008

Bank robbers Execute 8 Bank Employees

In a bizarre and inhuman criminal act, at least eight bank employees and a security guard were lined up and shot in the head on Friday in one of the bloodiest bank robberies in the Philippines.

The victims were found sprawled on the floor of a branch of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. in Cabuyao town in Laguna province, south of Manila, after the bank failed to open as scheduled at 9 a.m. and suspicious customers alerted authorities, Chief Superintendent of Police Ricardo Padilla said.

"This is the handiwork of the devil and we will not let this pass," Padilla said. "They were killed in a gangland-style execution. Each of the victims shot in the head while lined up."

Padilla said the robbers could have used silencers because residents in the area heard no gunshots coming from the bank.

He said two security guards were missing, leading authorities to suspect they were involved in the robbery. Another police officer, speaking on local radio, said there was no sign of forceful entry.

Padilla said another security guard was among the dead. It wasn't clear how much money was stolen.

Bank Vice President Edwin Ermita told The Associated Press the assailants tried to hide the body of the security guard under a tarpaulin in the rear of the bank.

Laguna provincial police chief Felipe Rojas said a vehicle owned by one of the bank employees was used by the robbers to escape. It was later recovered several miles away and will be checked for fingerprints, he said.

He said the bank employees, including two inside the open bank vault, were shot point-blank.

Empty handgun shells were recovered on the bank floor and a shotgun believed owned by the slain security guard was found outside, he said.

Bank robberies are common but rarely as bloody. Rojas said this was the worst in the country's history.

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