MANILA - The head of the Philippine immigration bureau on Friday ordered a manhunt for a South Korean fugitive who escaped from his handlers in Pampanga last Jan. 31.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said fugitive Song Yangrae, 43, was on his way to Floridablanca town, Pampanga with his four escorts "to allegedly attend to a settlement meeting for the sale of his property", but escaped after he went to a restroom.
“Upon inspection, they discovered that Song was nowhere to be found,” said BI Warden Facility Chief Remiecar Caguiron in a statement.
Song, who's wanted in Korea for violation of the Game Industry Promotion Act, was supposed to be transported to the Taguig Pateros District Hospital for a medical check-up with another Korean detainee, BI said.
The agency added that the fugitive shouldn't have been in Pampanga in the first place since his medical pass was for Taguig City only.
“This is in blatant disregard of the approved pass," Caguiron said.
BBI Commissioner Jaime Morente "immediately" ordered the deployment of tracker teams to locate the suspect. He also asked for assistance from the Floridablanca Police to aid in the search.
The four escorts—Dennis Alsado, Lee Sean Matignas, Bernard Mabida, and Raymond Calub—will face administrative cases and possible termination, said the immigration chief.
"There was obviously connivance among them," Morente said. "I have immediately ordered their relief pending results of the investigation."
The BI created a fact-finding team to investigate the incident.
"I have ordered all our agents to prioritize the rearrest of Song, and those involved in his escape will face harsh penalties," Morente said.