Armed men attack North Cotabato provincial jail, free 130 inmates

KIDAPAWAN CITY — Heavily armed men raided at past 12 a.m. on Wednesday the North Cotabato District Jail in Barangay Amas and free 130 detainees, including high profile inmates.

Provincial Jail Warden Supt. Peter Bongat told reporters that a jail officer was killed while an inmate was injured during the exchange of gunfire.

One of the inmates, Salik Capalla, told reporters that a brownout occurred at 12:30 a.m. then a series of gun bursts.

Supt. Leo Ajero, Kidapawan City police director, said two of the escapees have been re-arrested in Barangay Amas.

Prior to the attack, words spread around the jail facility before New Year that a raid will be conducted to rescue high profile inmates believed to be members of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Because of the report that a raid will be conducted on New Year’s Eve, officials of the Bureau of Jail Management (BJMP) sought augmentation force from the military and the police.

The augmentation force stayed until Tuesday when they were pulled out.

Witnesses said the attackers first unlocked Cell No. 8 where the Salik brothers and Camayo brothers, suspected BIFF members were detained.

The gunmen also unlocked other cells.

It was the third attacked in the provincial jail facility since 2007.

Manhunt is in progress. Edwin Fernandez/PNA-northboundasia.com