Remaining 98 escapees from North Cotabato jail may take “end of January” to be recaptured
An official of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said it will take authorities till “the end of January” to recapture the remaining 98 prisoners who escaped from a jail in North Cotabato last week
In a statement on Thursday, Serafin Barretto, a director of the BJMP, said uniformed forces will continue their operation until the last prisoner at large will be returned.
“At the rate that we are going, we might be able to capture all 158 prisoners back by the end of January,” said Barreto. Sixty have been recaptured.
Barreto attributed the recovery operations to close coordination of the BJMP with the augmentation from the military and police.
Interior and Local Government Ismael Sueno said Barreto has recommended that the North Cotabato district jail be closed and for the inmates to be transferred to another jail facility within SOCSKSARGEN region.
The memorandum of agreement between BJMP and Department of Education (DepEd), the owner of the North Cotabato Jail facility, expired sometime in 2010.
Sueno and Barreto also commended Jail Officer (JO) I Excell Ray Vicedo who died during the incident.
Vicedo sustained a chest wound during the two-hour firefight around one o’clock in the morning of January 4 when some 100 armed men attacked the jail.
Sueno said Vicedo and his companion held to their post to keep the attackers from entering the vicinity. Vicedo was out of ammunition when he was shot in the chest.
Barreto will hand over the Medalya ng Kabayanihan (posthumous award) to Vicedo’s surviving family during the January 15 burial. DMS