DOJ deploys team to hunt down Bilibid escapee

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2012 09:01 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2012 05:01 AM

MANILA - A 5-man team was deployed to Isabela by the Department of Justice (DOJ) following reports of sightings of murder convict Rommel Laciste who bolted the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) last Aug. 15.

In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Justice Sec. Leila De Lima said the team is conducting hot pursuit operations in an effort to recover Laciste.

Show cause memoranda have been issued to several custodial officers of the NBP, she said, to determine any possible culpability on their part.

"Show cause memos have been issued to about 10 custodial officers and personnel [for them] to explain in writing within 48 hours why no administrative sanctions should be imposed on them," De Lima pointed out.

The most plausible angle for Laciste's escape is still via the rice delivery truck that arrived and left on said day. Footage recorded at the exit gate proved useful, De Lima said, as it showed no thorough inspection of the departing delivery truck done by NBP security personnel.

"[T]he rice hull delivery truck... was haphazardly inspected at Gate IV when it exited at about 2:30 pm, Aug. 15, as shown in the video footage from the Operations Center," she said.

Laciste escaped on Wednesday, the same day high profile murder convict Rolito Go resurfaced after his alleged abduction at the NBP

De Lima was named Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge since then as BuCor Director Gaudencio Pangilinan went on indefinite leave to give way to a probe into Go's disappearance. The BuCor is an attached agency of the justice department.