DAVAO CITY ,Philippines – Three persons were killed while 15 others were wounded after a foiled jailbreak when armed men, wearing black masks and fatigue uniforms, tried to free a detainee from the Kidapawan City Jail last Sunday night.
Col. Leopoldo Galon of the Eastern Mindanao Command said that about 12 armed men fired rocket-propelled grenades and high-powered rifles at the jail perimeter and the adjacent city hall at around 9:50 p.m.
Several jail guards of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) were wounded but the jail officers engaged the attackers in a shootout and were able to repulse the attackers, who aborted the jailbreak.
The retreating armed men fired at bystanders on the street to cover their escape toward Barangay Nuwangan. Three bystanders were killed, they were identified as Mark Anthony Morales, 23, Ian Carlo Sevilla, 22, and Benny Balmediano.
The gunmen later detonated an improvised explosive device that injured pursuing lawmen and other bystanders.
Among the injured victims were Fire/Chief Inspector Romeo Tactacin, Fire Officers 1 Jonathan Cornejo and Jerry Anonciado, Jail Officer 2 Joel Letada, Adrales Cabriles, Elvin Dulay, Ernie Aguirre, Raffy Yusalan, Joemar Lizardo, Dave Dapan, Rizaldo Dapan, and Al Temojin Lao.
Authorities are still conducting hot pursuit operations as of press time.
Police said the attackers tried to rescue Datukan Samad alias Lastikman, a detained member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Special Operations Group.
Samad was detained at the Kidapawan jail after charges of kidnapping with ransom, robbery with homicide, and multiple murder were filed against him following his arrest in December last year. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, John Unson, Jaime Laude, AP - By Edith Regalado