Over 100 inmates escape in Kidapawan jail attack
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – At least one jail officer was killed on Wednesday, January 4, after more than 100 unidentified armed men attacked the North Cotabato District Jail in Kidapawan City for over two hours.
According to initial reports, the attack happened at around 1:15 am on Wednesday, at the jail in the Capitol Complex, Amas, Kidapawan City.
Around 100 detainees reportedly fled the jail as a result of the attack, according to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
“Per initial report, around 100 inmates took the opportunity to escape through the back portion of the facility while the rest of the personnel were retaliating to hold their ground and to protect other inmates,” said a statement by the jail bureau.
A total of 158 were able to escape, with 14 "recovered" by authorities. Of the 14, 2 surrendered to the city mayor while 6 were killed, according to the BJMP.
Jail Officer 1 Excell Vicedo was wounded on his right chest and was brought to the provincial hospital but died a few hours later, according to the same police report. The firefight, according to the BJMP, lasted more than 2 hours.
There are at least 1,511 prisoners inside the North Cotabato District Jail.
The BJMP’s Special Tactics and Response team, the Special Action Force, and the military are currently conducting clearing operations within the vicinity of the jail and surrounding areas.
The BJMP said authorities have recaptured at least 6 of the inmates. Amas village officials in Kidapawan City arrested one of them, a certain Jason Angkanan, and turned him over to the army, according to a police report.
Angkanan claimed that before going to sleep at 8 pm on January 3, Tuesday, he noticed that the padlock of their cell was not locked.
“At about 1:00 AM of January 4, 2017 [Angkanan] was awaken by several gunburst and then he heard that some of the inmates shouting that they should go out from the Custodial Facility Building for the attackers will burn it,” read the police report.
Inmates, including Angkanan, reportedly used a wooden ladder to climb over the cement fence surrounding the jail.
Police and military personnel are in hot pursuit of the rest of the escaped inmates. – Rappler.com