KIDAPAWAN CITY, January 4, 2017 (PNA) — Heavily armed men raided the North Cotabato District Jail in Barangay Amas at past 12 a.m. today and freed 130 detainees, including high profile inmates.
Provincial Jail Warden Superintendent Peter Bongat told reporters that a jail officer was killed while an inmate was injured during the exchange of gunfire.
One of the inmates, Salik Capalla, told reporters that a blackout occurred at 12:30 a.m., followed by a series of gun bursts.
Superintendent Leo Ajero, Kidapawan City police director, said two of the escapees have been re-arrested in Barangay Amas.
Prior to the attack, word spread around the jail facility before New Year that a raid would be conducted to rescue high profile inmates believed to be members of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Because of this, officials of the Bureau of Jail Management (BJMP) sought augmentation force from the military and the police.
The augmentation force, however, stayed only until Tuesday before being pulled out.
Witnesses said the attackers first unlocked Cell No. 8 where the Salik brothers and Camayo brothers, all suspected BIFF members, were detained.
The gunmen also unlocked other cells.
It was the third attack in the provincial jail facility since 2007.
Police said the manhunt is in progress. (Edwin O. Fernandez/PNA)