Rogue rebs plan to rescue inmates in Mindanao jail facility; alert up PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 November 2010 10:37

COTABATO CITY -- Security measures have been tightened in an over-crowded provincial district jail in North Cotabato following intelligence reports that rogue Moro rebels are planning to rescue 20 high profile inmates, a jail officer said Saturday.

"We have doubled or even tripled our security measures to thwart any attempt to bolt inmates," Chief Insp. Julius Aro, jail warden of North Cotabato District Jail in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City.

He said upon assumption two months ago as jail warden, he had already the intelligence information about escape plot by suspected rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Aro said most of the high risk inmates were involved in series of carnapping, kidnapping, illegal drugs, murders and bombing activities that took place all over Southwestern Mindanao region.

One of the high profile inmates was a nephew of Tahir Alonto, a notorious kidnap gang leader, was moved to Kidapawan City jail according to Aro.

"The city jail is more secured compare to our facility," Aro said, without identifying Alonto's nephew.

He said almost of the high profile inmates are former MILF members or MILF relatives and affiliated with organized syndicated group operating in Mindanao.

“They are really high profile inmates and that's the reason we sought their immediate transfer to safest and more secure facility,” Aro said.

Following intelligence reports of a plot to rescue inmates, Aro instructed all jail guards to implement strict inspections for visitors entering the jail facility in order to prevent the entry of any pointed objects such as bladed weapons and metal tools inside the jail compound.

In September last year, eight the North Cotabato provincial government facilitated the transfer of eight high-risk detainees to Bicutan Taguig.

These inmates were charged with murder and multiple frustrated murder cases, robbery, arson, carnapping and violation of Presidential Decree (PD) 1866 or illegal possession of firearms.

In 2007, some 40 inmates including three suspected bombers responsible in bomb attacks in various areas in Mindanao escaped when suspected MILF guerillas staged an attack in the former provincial jail (now district jail following the turnover of the facility to the Bureau of Jail Management).

In June last year, several high profile inmates also escaped after suspected MILF guerillas launched a daring dawn attack at the facility, killing a jail guard and wounded four others.

Aro admitted the district jail is too crowded with about 800 occupants for a 350-person prison facility.