COTABATO CITY (UPDATE#2) - Unidentified armed men sprang 132 inmates from a jail compound in a midnight raid that also left one of their guards killed, authorities said.
The detainees escaped amid bursts of gunfire during the attack on the Amas provincial jail, located behind the North Cotabato capitol in Kidapawan City around 1 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
Jail officer Excell Ray Vicedo died at the hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound during the attack, North Cotabato police director PS/Supt Emmanuel Peralta said.
One of the escapees was captured along the highway around 2 a.m., as police and military checkpoints were set up in neighboring Mlang and Matalam towns
Troops fired mortar rounds to the back of the jail, where some of the escapees are believed to be hiding.
In an interview, Supt. Peter Bonggat Jr., of the North Cotabato Jail District said the more than 100 attackers was led by a "Commander Derby," a member of a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and a former detainee who escaped from the same jail last year.
Bonggat said six inmates involved in the jailbreak were recaptured after trying to take some hostages.
"We were able to recover anim accordingly kasi nang-hostage po yung anim so na-pin down po natin sila," he said.
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) National Headquarters meanwhile said in a statement, there are ongoing operations within the jail vicinity and the surrounding area and there are also ongoing manhunt operations on the escapees.