1 inmate killed, 3 others hurt in Sarangani jailbreak

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 Feb) — An inmate was killed while three others were wounded following a violent jailbreak at the district jail in Malapatan town in Sarangani Province on Wednesday night.

Chief Insp. Felixberto Gabayeron, Malapatan police chief, said Thursday a shootout erupted at the Malapatan district jail at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after eight of its inmates attempted to bolt the facility.

He said the jailbreak ensued after two trustee-inmates identified as Ronald Uppos and Roberto Caratayco disarmed and took the lockup keys from duty jail guard Jail Officer 1 Sofreme Autor.

Gabayeron said the suspects then hastily opened one of the jail’s cells, freeing six other inmates.

“We initially heard two gunshots so we immediately responded to the scene and found out the jail guards already struggling with the inmates,” he said.

The Malapatan police station is just beside the district jail, which is run by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Gabayeron said one of the inmates identified as Mod Lakim tried to disarm another jail guard but was shot during the struggle by responding policemen. Lakim later died due to gunshot wounds on his head and chest.

He said three other inmates identified as Jerry Villota, Jerald Caballes and Mitchel Macaso were wounded in an ensuing shootout.

But he said Uppos and Caratayco as well as two other detainees — Gerald Lipasan and Romnick Poster — managed to escape.

“The manhunt against the four escapees is currently ongoing. They were last seen by some witness heading towards the mountainous area of (Malapatan) Poblacion,” Gabayeron said.

BJMP records showed that Uppos, who is a resident of Barangay Mudan in Glan town, is facing theft charges while Caratayco, who hails from Barangay Laguimit in Glan, is being tried for attempted rape.

Lipasana, who is a resident of Barangay Upper Biangan in Malungon, is charged with carnapping and Poster, who hails from Barangay Tamban in Malungon, is facing murder charges.

Sr. Supt. Daniel Dequito, BJMP Region 12 director, said in a radio interview that he has dispatched two tracking teams to lead the manhunt against the suspects.

He also sent a team of investigators to Malapatan town to look deeper into the incident and specifically determine possible lapses committed by their personnel that led to the jailbreak. (MindaNews)