Police sealed off a shopping center in Muntinlupa City before noon Friday after a shootout between suspected armored van robbers and mall security.
Muntinlupa police chief Senior Superintendent Ramiro Bausa said at least one suspect was wounded after a shootout with guards at the Alabang Town Center.
"Na-secure namin ang area. Temporarily hindi muna pinapasok ang mga tao," Bausa said in an interview on dzBB radio.
In a short statement
posted on its Facebook account, the ATC said they are cooperating with police, the security agency and property management " to maintain and ensure the safety of our customers, our merchants and the mall."
"Please be advised that Alabang Town Center is closed for operations. We shall advise normalization of mall operations upon clearance from the police authorities," the statement read. Waiting for armored van?
Bausa said they are verifying information the suspects were waiting for an armored van to arrive.
He said initial information reaching him indicated the mall's guards became suspicious of the men and accosted them, triggering the shootout.
"In-engage nila, pinutukan sila, pinutukan ng guardiya," he said.
Recovered from the area were a cal-.45 pistol and a hand grenade, he said.
Bauza said they are monitoring the mall to see if some of the suspects managed to run inside the mall. He added the armored van had not yet arrived at the time of the shooting.
Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, who was in the area, cited information that as many as three suspects may have entered the mall.
"Ngayon surrounded ang town center, hinahanap ang tatlong suspects. Sana di mauwi sa hostage taking," Biazon said in a separate interview on dzBB. — RSJ, GMA News