57 Abu jail detainees to be transferred to San Ramon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2015 12:02

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the Bureau of Correction, police, military and the city government signed on Tuesday a memorandum of agreement relative to the transfer of 57 detained Abu Sayyaf members from the Zamboanga City Jail to the San Ramon Prisons and Penal Colony for security reason.

City Jail Warden Chief Insp. Julius Arro told DZT that Bureau of Correction Director Franklin Bucayong arrived in the city for the MOA signing as official procedure before they will lend their facility for the detention of the Abu Sayyaf members in the colony.

Arro explained that even though the 57 Abu Sayyafs will be detained in San Ramon Prisons, they will still be under the BJMP responsibility considering they are still on detention while their cases are under litigation and not yet convicted.

San Ramon Prisons and other prison facilities in the country like those in Bilibid, Muntinglupa, Coron, Palawan and Davao penal colony are for those offenders convicted by the court.

Under the MOA signed Tuesday, the BJMP will be the main agency who will guard the detainees while the police and military will be deployed as augmentation forces to prevent any attempt to spring the accused and captured militants.

Arro said preparations have already been made for the transfer of the 57 Abu Sayyafs.

Moreover, Arro said that after the court here would issue an order for the transfer, the bureau will still wait for the final order from the Department of Justice in Manila.

It will be recalled that after the foiled Abu Sayyaf attempt in January to spring the 57 detainees, the city government appealed to the national government to transfer them to another detention facilities because they pose serious threat to Zamboanga City.

The prison break plot by the Abu Sayyaf on January 19 involved three .45 cal. pistols smuggled in charcoal stoves.

The three handguns and 140 rounds of ammunition were seized after they were sent to two Abu Sayyaf detainees.

An unidentified woman appeared at the jail’s gate shortly after 10 a.m. and handed the guards two charcoal stoves asking for them to be passed to Jamil Ajijul and Termiji Ahmad, Abu Sayyaf lieutenants facing charges including kidnapping and murder.

After the woman, who Arro said had appeared nervous and in a rush, had gone, Arro ordered officers to keep tabs on the two alleged militants. The ovens were confiscated when the men were seen trying to break them open and the weapons found in hollow compartments.

Police sources said the escape plan would have been assisted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen outside the prison attacking police units across the city as the prisoners fled to Basilan or Sulu provinces, through R.T. Lim Boulevard.

Following the discovery, the military surrounded the jail while bomb squad officers scanned cells for explosives. —Dan Toribio