MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy confirmed in a press statement on Wednesday, May 24, two jailbreaks in Marawi that resulted in 107 inmates being freed.
The jailbreaks happened during the clash between the military and the Maute group.
Cuy said that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) reported that 50 heavily armed men from the ISIS Maute group "barged into" the Marawi City Jail and Malabang District Jail in the evening of Tuesday, May 23. (READ: TIMELINE: Marawi clashes prompt martial law in all of Mindanao)
"[Members] of Maute group entered the jail compound, disarmed and tied up the 12 jail officers of the facility, destroyed the jail’s padlocks, and let all the inmates out from their cells," read the report relayed to him by BJMP Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Director Mamerto Delloro Jr.
The report also said that armed men carted away assorted issued firearms of the BJMP personnel, two SUVs and two motorcycles, and mobile phones owned by the jail guards on duty.
“Two prison vans were also commandeered by the armed men and according to our sources, they were using said vehicles as they moved inside the city,” Cuy added.
Aside from the jail officers who were harassed, Cuy also said that based on their initial report from BFP, the armed group also took away a Rosenbauer fire truck from Marantao Fire Station, an adjacent municipality of Marawi City before the armed attack took place.
Cuy said the armed group used the fire truck as their escape vehicle heading to the national highway in the direction of Iligan City.
When the armed clashes died down on Tuesday, the fire truck was retrieved by a fire volunteer and a civilian at the New Bridge Pumping, National Highway of Marawi City.
They did not disclose whether the armed men were apprehended.
Cuy said that he hopes that the confrontation between the military and the armed men will remain "confined" to the area of Marawi City through the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.