DOJ knew plan to snatch Chinese inmates: cop

by Kathlyn dela Cruz,

Posted at Feb 22 2013 12:58 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2013 06:06 PM

Police tip sent to DOJ in 2011, says Supt. Laciste

MANILA (UPDATED) - A report on the planned snatching and escape of three Chinese inmates involved in illegal drug trade was submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2011, around a year and a half before they were taken last Wednesday, a police official said Friday.

Speaking with radio dzMM, Chief Supt. Federico Laciste, deputy director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) South Luzon, said he submitted a letter to DOJ last August 2011 to tip the agency regarding the alleged efforts to "rescue" Li Tian Hua, Wang Li Na and Li Lan Yan alias Jackson Dy from the Cavite provincial jail.

He said aside from the DOJ, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) also received copies of the report.

"Nung August 2011, gumawa po ako ng sulat because meron tayong natanggap na ire-rescue 'yung tatlong subject... I provided that information sa DOJ, PAOCTF, PDEA at AIDSOTF to validate that information and take appropriate action," Laciste told dzMM.

He lamented that the three Chinese drug inmates were still able to escape from jail guards even if DIPO had already tipped off authorities about their planned escape.

"I was informed na meron silang aksyon dun sa possible rescue kaya lang inabot na ng ganitong panahon... Siguro po after their investigation baka hindi po nagkaroon ng magandang development 'yun kaya nasingitan lang po siguro tayo," Laciste said.

However, Region IV-A (Calabarzon) police director Chief Supt. Benito Estipona said they were not informed of the plan.

During a press conference Friday morning, Estipona said the three inmates were only transferred to the Cavite provincial jail in November 2011.

"Pina-check ko kung kailan sila napalipat. November 2011...meaning wala sila dito nung ginawa itong letter na 'to. So itong rescue operations might be referring to another jail facility. This was Parañaque pa yata noon," he said.

Out of PH?

Laciste, meanwhile, agreed with Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla that the three Chinese drug suspects may have already left the country.

"Mas malamang po na after 'yung initial report na natanggap nun e malamang po nakalabas na po 'yan [ng bansa]. Pag may ganyang plano po, usually naka-prepare na po 'yung mga dokumento niyan," he said.

Remulla on Thursday said the tracking device used by the pursuing policemen showed the suspects were already in Manila Bay, and were probably on their way to Taiwan.

But the Cavite police have yet to confirm if the three inmates are already out of the country.

The Chinese inmates were taken by some 20 heavily armed men while being escorted by jail guards to the Trece Martires Regional Trial Court (RTC) last Wednesday.

Four suspects involved in the snatching and escape of the inmates have been arrested by the Cavite police Thursday night.

In a press conference, Cavite Police provincial director Senior Supt. Alexander Rafael said one of the arrested suspects was involved in illegal drug trade with Dy.

He added one of those involved visited Dy last February 16, as shown in the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage inside the jail.

Pursuit operations against the other suspects are ongoing. Around 15 to 20 suspects are being hunted down. -- With dzMM