GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 21 July) – Six inmates of a police detention facility in the coastal town of Malabang in Lanao de Sur were being hunted by lawmen backed by Marines after they escaped early dawn Wednesday.
Malabang Mayor Tomas Macapodi said he has ordered all village officials in the town to help the police locate the escapees. Troopers from the Marines’ 5th Battalion Landing Team have been scouring the remote villages of the town.
The escape took place as policemen engaged a group of armed men who fired shots at the police station.
Police Major Timothy Romanillos, chief of the Malabang police, said there was a brief exchange of gunfire between his men and those who tried to attack the police station where the inmates were locked up.
It was not clear how the six managed to get out of their detention cell, the police official said, but they must have taken advantage of the skirmish between the policemen and the armed men who have yet to be identified.
Romanillos could not categorically say whether the attack was a diversionary ploy to cover the escape of the six who are all facing drug related charges.
The police official said witnesses saw the six inmates flee with the armed group. He declined to name the escapees, saying a manhunt is currently ongoing to get them back to their cells.
Mayor Macapodi has called on the kin as well as the parents of those who escaped to surrender them immediately or they will be tagged as fugitives of the law.
Elements of the 5th Marine Battalion Landing Team in the area are also helping the police locate the whereabouts of the escapees. (Rommel G. Rebollido / MindaNews)