Suspected Abu, 7 others bolt Basilan jail

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/27 January) – A suspected Abu Sayyaf bandit and seven other people accused of different crimes escaped early Tuesday from the provincial jail in Isabela City, Basilan province, officials disclosed.

Supt. Albert Larubis, Isabela City police chief, said investigation showed the inmates escaped by climbing on the ceiling of their cell and jumping over the fence of the facility’s compound.

Larubis said the inmates possibly bolted before dawn but their escape was only discovered when the jail guards conducted a headcount of the inmates around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Abdulhusin Atalad, Basilan provincial jail warden, identified the escapees as Said Usman, an alleged Abu Sayyaf member facing four counts kidnapping with serious illegal detention; Akmad Arasani, frustrated murder and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; Obet dela Cruz, robbery; Serham Akalun, three counts murder; Benhar Ibrahim, cattle rustling; Oliver Tinguha, murder; Mumar Jajuli, violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; and, Arajan Dala, murder.

Atalad said the escapees were all detained at the second cell of the provincial jail. The facility is located in Barangay Sumagdang, Isabela City.

He said a manhunt operation was launched in coordination with the police and military to recapture the escapees.

Larubis said 17 other suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits were locked up inside the jail’s first cell.

He said 59 inmates, including the 17 alleged bandits, remain in detention following the escape Tuesday of the eight other detainees.

Meanwhile, Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar said she will follow up her request to Justice Secretary Leila Delima to facilitate the transfer of the suspected Abu Sayyaf members to the Bicutan detention facility in Taguig City. (MindaNews)