Authorities said 12 of the 158 inmates who escaped from the North Cotabato District Jail were recaptured Wednesday.
Police Supt. Emmanuel Peralta, North Cotabato police director, said joint intensified hot pursuit operation by the North Cotabato PNP, Provincial Public Safety Forces, Regional Public Safety Battalion 12, PNP Special Action Force, 39th and 7th Infantry resulted to the capture of a dozen escapees.
A village councilman and the jail officer were killed during the incident.
Peralta said Jason Angkanan who was facing charges for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Wennie Curimo Rota (frustrated murder) and Faisal Tiburon (robbery) were arrested by police and military personnel in Barangay Patadon, Matalam, North Cotabato at past 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Police Provincial Public Safety Battalion personnel arrested Joselito Tomines (RA 9165), Jerome Oguit (rape), Melvin Antipuesto Canete (RA 9165), Mohammad Mama (R.A. 9165), Roli M Dinampo, Faisal Bansilan, Ginda Angkil, Richel Vales Flores and Joreste Robles Perdido about four kilometers away from the provincial jail.
They were found hiding in the bush at past 5 a.m. Wednesday in the boundary of Matalam and Kidapawan City.
Peralta said residents helped government forces in locating them.
Peralta also said the recaptured escapees were turned over to the North Cotabato District Jail except for Flores and Perdido who are now under the custody of the Matalam Municipal Police Station for proper disposition and verification.
Peralta also said escapees Joey Aranas (RA 9165); Allan Jay Fabro Tolentino (RA 9165); Edfel Bautista Liscano (RA 9165); Rapacon Dimawan Ambolodto (RA 9165); Mohammad Mama (RA 9165); Adonis Ray Ferraren Cedeno (RA 9165) were killed during the hot pursuit operations early Wednesday while holding hostage Sorelo Quino, a civilian and resident of Sitio Puas Inda, Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City.
Quino was confined at the North Cotabato Provincial Hospital after the incident.
Meanwhile, two other fugitives - Peter John Ararao and Johnmeir Selgas - were wounded and are now at the same hospital under heavy guarding by policemen.
Jail Officer Excell Ray Vicedo, jail guard on duty, was killed during the attack.
Pursuing government forces also killed Satar Mamalubang, a village councilman of Barangay Patadon, Matalam, North Cotabato, for allegedly helping the escapees
Peralta said the entire North Cotabato PNP is doing its best to neutralize the situation and hopes to recover the remaining escapees.
Of the 158 escapees, 138 are still at-large and the subject of massive manhunt operation.
Shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, about 100 heavily armed men, led by Esmael Nasser alias Commander Derbi, attacked the jail facility in three different directions.
Supt. John Rey Bungat, provincial warden, said the attackers first fired on a power transformer that sent the entire facility into total darkness.
Commander Derbi was familiar of the facility since he was an escapee there having been arrested and detained for murder and bombing charges. He was charged for the murder of Vice Mayor Policarpio Dulay in 2013.
However, he managed to bolt jail in August last year, along with other detained members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Quoting other inmates' accounts, Bungat said his group proceeded to cell No. 6 where BIFF members were locked in.
Felix Capalla, one of the inmates who did not join the escape, told reporters the jail guards were outnumbered.
After opening Cell No. 6, the gunmen also fired on the padlocks of other cells, giving way for other inmates to escape.
Capalla said before the raid, words have been spreading that inmates will be rescued on New Year's Eve. Capalla said he alerted Bungat who sought police and Army assistance.
Augmentation force were deployed around the jail on Dec. 31 but were pulled out on January 2.
Capalla said only 20 jail officials were guarding about 1,511 inmates on shifting basis.
Source: Philippines News Agency