Bandit suspect, 10 others bolt jail

Agence France-Presse

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A high-profile bandit in central Mindanao and 10 others escaped from a jail in Cotabato

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Philippine police said an alleged bandit leader and 10 other inmates escaped from a jail in the south of the country Tuesday, July 10, by cutting through iron bars with a hacksaw.

The group bolted from the jail in Cotabato City after using the smuggled saw to get through the iron grills of a toilet room window, local police chief Danny Reyes told reporters.

“Pursuit operations involving the Marines are ongoing,” said Reyes, adding that the manhunt involved dozens of police and military units.

The group’s leader was identified as Datukan Samad, or “Kumander Lastikman,” described by police as a “high profile” bandit charged with a spate of murders, highway robberies, kidnappings, and cattle rustling operations in the south.

Reyes said it was not clear how the inmates obtained the crude hacksaw, but jail officials admitted corruption was a major problem in many detention facilities especially in provincial areas. – Agence France-Presse

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