Security has been tightened on the North Cotabato District Jail in Kidapawan City following the escape of 158 prisoners final week. —REUTERS

KIDAPAWAN CITY—A suspected drug lord referred to as “Hapon,” a type of who bolted the North Cotabato District Jail (NCDJ) on Jan. four, had financed the jail assault that allowed 158 inmates to flee the ability, appearing Gov. Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva mentioned.

Villanueva, in a press convention right here on Tuesday, mentioned Melvin Casangyao, recognized right here as “Hapon,” contracted the group of Esmael Nasser, one other inmate referred to as “Commander Derbi,” to plan the assault that may enable inmates to flee.

Villanueva mentioned an investigation ordered by the provincial authorities confirmed Casangyao had organized to pay P1 million for his rescue. The governor, nonetheless, didn’t present particulars on the transaction.

Of the 158 inmates who escaped, 49 had been rearrested and 10 had been killed in a shoot out with policemen pursuing them, studies mentioned. Police are nonetheless looking 99 fugitives.

Nasser, who authorities mentioned coordinated the assault, was the suspect in the 2013 homicide of Vice Mayor Policarpio Dulay of Kabacan city. He was additionally the suspect in the sequence of bombings in Kabacan, amongst these the November 2014 bombing on the University of Southern Mindanao campus, the place one died and 17 others had been wounded.

Nasser was arrested in November 2015, however he escaped the NCDJ in August final 12 months with two suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters members. Nasser was later rearrested and returned to NCDJ.

Villanueva mentioned Nasser’s affiliation with any prison or terror group was unclear, regardless of his affiliation with BIFF members. She mentioned some studies had recognized him as a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander however they’ve but to substantiate this.

The investigation confirmed that Casangyao and Nasser had developed a detailed friendship contained in the jail.

Villanueva mentioned on prime of the P1 million deal, Casangyao additionally promised to provide Nasser’s group two .60-cal. machine weapons and ammunition if he can be rescued.

“We [were shown] a report that he will pay [another] P1 million to Derbi once the attack becomes successful,” Villanueva mentioned.

The worry of being shot useless and even burned alive prompted among the inmates to affix the fleeing prisoners even when they weren’t eager on escaping.

Nilo Cadungog, a 39-year-old former militiaman detained for pissed off homicide at NCDJ, mentioned the closely armed males ordered the inmates to run or be shot.

“They also told us if we will not leave our cell, they will set the provincial jail on fire, so I joined the group and ran,” he mentioned.

“I have no plan to escape at all,” he added.

Cadungog mentioned he determined to separate from the opposite escapees and went dwelling by hiring a “habal-habal” (passenger bike) to Barangay Tonganon in Carmen. He arrived dwelling on Thursday night time, together with his members of the family shelling out P500 to pay for the trip.

Cadungog turned himself in to authorities on Friday final week, two days after the jailbreak, when he realized that a few of his fellow fugitives had been killed in the manhunt.

“He feared for his life and opted to surrender,” mentioned Chief Insp. Julius Malcontento, Carmen city police chief, to whom Cadungog surrendered.

Cadungog mentioned he solely stayed dwelling for an evening and determined to yield the subsequent day.

“If I really intended to escape for good, I would not have surrendered,” he mentioned.

Jomel Caguio, who’s going through unlawful drug charges, mentioned he believed the gunmen’s warning to kill those that won’t be a part of the jailbreak.

He dashed to his freedom and later discovered himself in Barangay Abra in Matalam city, which is close to Barangay Amas, the place the jail is situated.

Caguio’s freedom was short-lived as exhaustion and weak spot overcame him.

Unable to run farther, he was discovered by Abra village officers who arrested him and turned him over to provincial jail authorities.

Source: inquirer