Katipunan Avenue in Quezon city is close to Ateneo De Manila University , Miriam College and the State University and let’s not forget other pre-schools. Crime rate is not as high as let’s say the university belt area. It’s relatively safe if you compare their crime statistics. Perhaps it’s one reason that Katipunan has only 4 policemen. I got that information from the June 2006 of Katipunan Magazine of which my daughter L is an Associate editor. The safety of Katipunan avenue is my concern because my 2 daughters live on an off-campus dormitory in that area.
If ever a crime occurs in katipunan avenue, it doesn’t reach our major dailies. It’s foolish to think that Katipunan avenue is totally safe. Take for instance that holdup robbery in that famous pancake restaurant on September 16, 2006, the day of the Ateneo College Entrance Exams. Families drive their children to take the exams and naturally wait for them to finish. A few of these families thought of eating at this pancake house. This is what happened….
From nowhere, two motorcyles, each with three riders, arrived. All six alighted, three men stayed outside and three entered as families focused on lively conversations, the promise of an Ateneo education, pancakes, waffles, breakfast steaks, bacon and eggs.
One suspect, his face unconcealed save for a baseball cap, pulled out a 9mm Beretta, chose a table with with he judged as the most vulnerable victim ( the patron having two young children with him), and then proceeded to poke the gun at his face.
His first demand was for everyone to surrender their cellular phones. That made sense. Here was an experienced thief who knew what he was doing. The suspect obviously studied in Filipino cultrure and sociology. Victims might not have enough money on them as was usually the case in a a university community , but they would most certainly carry at least one cellphone.
As the men, who the polic report eventually identified as armed with “hand guns and machine pistols” divested at least eight groups of more than a million pesos, P 15,000 from the cash register, plus more in personal property, a woman in one table pleaded for her life. While she was not dressed in a nun’s habit, she identified herself as a nun.
The children in the restaurant started shaking and sobbing, fearful for their lives as the suspects threatened to shoot everyone while one continued to brandish the 9mm Beretta at the man with two young children who clung to him in fear. So that the victims might not get a clear look at the faces of the suspects and so that they would be immobilized, they were told to lie on the floor or else be killed.
At approximately 8 a.m., within 10 minutes since the men barged into the pancake restaurant, most of the victims were herded into the establishment’s cramped toilet. The suspects then fled “on board two motorcycles towards C-5 southbound.”
Source: Pancakes, bacon and a 9mm Beretta, Business World, September 27, page 4
The above incident is not an isolated case. It has happened to other restaurants in the past. What is different in this case is that the robbers anticipated that an affluent crowd would be gathered near that area. Ateneo Schools failed to inform the police authorities to beef up its men during a time like this. This latest incident is another agenda of the Ateneo Parents School Council security committee. No , I’m not a member of the security committee but at least I get to know the progress of increased security in the Katipunan area.