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Jailbreak in central Philippines.

Manila

Authorities sent pictures of 13 inmates who escaped from a jail in central Philippines on the police and military jointly began a massive manhunt for them, police said.

"We have provided the transport terminal operators, radio, TV and print media the photos of all the inmates who escaped from Sagay City jail," Officer-in-Charge Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz of Negros Occidental said in a TV interview.

"They are armed and dangerous. They took the firearms of the jail guards with them. And we urged the public to report immediately any information that can lead to their arrest," de la Paz said, adding of the 13 escapees, 10 are hardened inmates facing murder, frustrated murder and illegal drug charges, said de La Paz.

Initial investigations showed that the incident happened when the inmates were out of their cells listening to a lecture on voters' education which was conducted by a village voter-educators team.

At the time, inmate Rolando Bajo pointed a caliber .38 revolver at jail guard Jover Valenzuela, and another inmate, Rey Villanueva, disarmed the guard.

As other inmates simultaneously pointed sharp objects at the other jail guards, Bajo shot and destroyed the jail's padlock.

Meanwhile, all units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Western Visayas, Dumaguete City, and Negros Oriental were alerted for the possible entry of the escapees into these areas, said de la Paz.

The Negros Occidental police also forged a joint operation with the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army for the manhunt.

"The escapees might hide in the mountains," de la Paz said, adding that all the entry and exit points in Negros Occidental were under a tight watch.

Jail guards were also investigated by the Bureau of Jail Management Penology (BJMP) in Sagay City, said de la Paz.

"The jail warden will be relieved from his post. Appropriate charges will be filed if it is found that he has been remiss from his duties," BJMP Community Relations Officer Insp. Xavier Solda said in a radio interview.

Philippine jails are notoriously lax, with jail guards vulnerable to bribery and other forms of corruption.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:3BOLI
Date:Apr 19, 2013
Words:371
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