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Saturday, July 17, 2010


A full-length documentary movie was produced and shown in 1963. Titled, MPD Solves the Robbery Ax-Murder Case, it recorded in details what transpired on the fateful day of August 26, 1963 when five security guards of RCA (Rice and Corn Administration) main office in Manila were butchered to death. A total cash of P332,248.27, a very huge sum that time, were carted away by the robbers.
"The safe was cracked open in about an hour and ten minutes. Bags and boxes were ready and into them was crammed the money from the ravished coffer. Adriano says that as they moved about he accidentally bumped against the handle of another, smaller safe; the safe opened, revealing more money inside, which he added to the loot from the first one. It was an unexpected bonus. The total haul amounted to P332,248.27.

Several boxes of the money, says Domingo, were loaded on the jeep he had brought. Two cloth bags, two leather bags and a box, according to Bernardo, were put into his jeep.

Says Adriano: "Before he left, Bernardo gave orders to kill all the guards and the old man who had asked him that time. He said to kill the guards because they knew him and Mariano Domingo."

Bernardo's version is that, as they were preparing to leave, Domingo remarked: "How is this, those guards know me." To which Adriano had replied: "I'll take care of that."

Related Adriano: "The Bulakeno whom I did not know axed to death four of the guards whose hands were tied. When he came out he handed me the axe and said it was my turn to chop the one who was left. I took the axe, with my eyes closed, struck Zablan. When I axed him, Zablan was lying face down. The old man who was also tied up, I did not kill, because he was so old."

Adriano says that "the Bulakeno whom I did not know" is Pedro Miranda. On the red handle of the axe Adriano dropped in the corridor, he left a fingerprint. He was the last of the gang to flee from the compound. It was then between three and four in the morning." (Source: Four and "Fate" by Quijano de Manila)
Four principal suspects were rounded and apprehended by the MPD (Manila Police Department) operatives--- Leonardo Bernardo, 34, Mariano Domingo, 38, Apolonio Adriano, 30 and Mario San Diego, 28, all former RCA security guards. The four confessed to the crime. About two-thirds of the loot, P224,000 remained unaccounted.

This particular news item that hit the headline in 1963 can also be read in full and in details in the book, "Reportage on Crime" by Quijano de Manila (or Nick Joaquin).

"Reportage On Crime"
by Quijano de Manila

Cover artwork and Design: Danny Dalena


TheCoolCanadian said...


I saw this documentary when I was a child. No doubt, this was ARTEMIO MARQUEZ' best work. This docu is gripping and well-made, and the build up of the presentation of the facts about the case was well done.

It was narrated by BEN DAVID, and his voice fits perfectly the somber subject of the film.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Simon, JM,
BEN DAVID, hahahaha, I remember him primarily for his TV advertisement wherein he, in usual bass voice says: Bakaaaaaaaaaaaa..........bad breathe. I think the ad was for Astring-o-sol or a similar mouth wash. Anyway, I always laugh at the way he did it. I can't remember the product, but I sure remember him.

Interesting design there by Danny Dalena, apparently, how they tag dead people in the morgue.

Beto Reyes said...

I will never forget this case as long as I live. The gory pictures of the axed security guards were on the front page of the Daily Mirror that afternoon, which I read as I was going home from school. The suspect I remember was Apolonio Adriano. This case made Manila Police Department (MPD) chief Eduardo Quintos very famous. Every time I pass by the NFA building at UN Avenue,the one near the former Philippine Refining Company (PRC) building, I think of this crime because this is where it happened. It was then called Rice and Corn Administration (RCA).

Buncheez said...

Do you have the link to watch the docu film

Buncheez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.


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