Drug syndicate leader rescued from Kidapawan jail in January recaptured  

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 20 May) – An alleged leader of a drug syndicate who was rescued from the Cotabato district jail here by around a hundred armed men who stormed the jail on January 4 was recaptured in his hideout in this city on Friday.

Melvin Tiangao Casangyao, considerted the most “high-risk” among 158 inmates who bolted jail, was recaptured at around 8:20 a.m. on Friday inside his hideout at Barangay Onica, a press release from the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO) said.

Combined elements from the Army and the Cotabato Provincial Police Office Office patrol the national highway near Amas Capitol Compound in Kidapawan City Wednesay, January 4 as they search for the 158 inmates who escaped from the North Cotabato District Jail following a raid by at least 100 armed men at the provincial jail inside the capitol compound. MindaNews photo

Casangyao, who faces several drug trafficking charges,  is reportedly one of the leaders of a big-time drug syndicate operating in North Cotabato and other parts of south and central Mindanao.

Evidences gathered by the CPPO showed it was Casangyao who allegedly hired the group of Commander Derby to rescue him on January 4, 2017.

Derby is also a fugitive who escaped from the provincial jail last year.

The transactions accordingly happened when Derby was still inside prison.

On January 4, Derby and his group stormed the jail and rescued Casangyao and 157 other inmates, many of them facing drug trafficking charges.

Among those killed during the attack was Jail Officer 1 Hexel Rey Desibo.

Local folks flee their homes in Barangay Patadon, Kidapawan City following pursuit operations against at least 100 armed men who raided the Cotabato Provincial Jail on Jsnuary 4, 2017, resulting in the esacpe of 158 inmates. Mindanews Photo

Also killed was Barangay councilman Satar Manalundong of Barangay Patadon, this city, who was mistakenly identified as among those that masterminded the attack.

Until now, relatives of Manalundong are still seeking justice for his death. They denied accusations hurled against him.

Of the 158 inmates who escaped, only 50 have been recaptured by authorities since they launched the manhunt four months ago. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)