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Report: Tension erupts at Makati shopping center after shooting incident

(Updated 1:30 p.m.) Tension gripped shoppers and bystanders Sunday noon after a reported shooting incident occurred between security forces and suspected robbers at the upscale Greenbelt 5 Mall in Makati City, police said. As of 12:25 p.m., PO3 Romulo Molen told dzBB radio that sketchy reports reaching him said that members of the Makati Police were chasing suspected robbers after a rob try in an undisclosed establishment inside the mall. “Ongoing yung paghuli sa mga suspect. Nasa basement pa daw. Hinahabol ng ating mga kapulisan," he said. The Greenbelt 5 area has already been cordoned off, Molen said. Molen said he received the report of the shooting incident at 11:45 a.m., following an “alleged robbery" try at Greenbelt 5. As of posting time, the policeman said he is still gathering information even as pursuit operations are still ongoing. Meanwhile, radio dzBB’s Lito Laparan quoted police authorities as saying that entry and exit points of the mall have been closed to ensure the safety of those inside the mall. The report added that police are chasing the suspects at the mall’s basement parking and not at the basement of the Ayala Museum as earlier reported. Also, dzBB's Allan Gatus reported that members of the Taguig City Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team joined the Makati police in the pursuit operation. Gatus added that some boutiques and restaurants inside Greenbelt 5 have already been closed by around 1 p.m. A separate report on ANC said the robbers have managed to escape via the basement parking. Rolex store The attempted robbery reportedly happened in the Rolex store at Greenbelt 5’s ground floor. Stephanie Shier, the manager of the establishment near Rolex said she saw that about six to seven armed men wearing black Bomb Squad uniforms hammered the glass cases containing Rolex watches. “We just saw some armed men they were wearing Bomb Squad uniforms…and they started hammering the showcases. And from there, I and some customers went inside the stockroom and afterward we heard gunshots for about five minutes," she told dzBB radio in an interview. Shier is the manager of Onitsuka Tiger, a clothing store. She added that at the time of the incident, “there were two customers, one guy and one pregnant woman, and they were shoved out of the store." - Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV