Inmate escapes, passes through jail’s main gate

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Monday, October 22, 2012


A MANHUNT operation has been launched against a high-profile inmate at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail (MOPJ) who managed to escape by casually passing through the jail’s main gate around 1 p.m. of Sunday.

Jail Warden Dominador Tagarda identified the inmate as Jail Bangkola, 25, who is facing two counts of carnapping and illegal possession of firearms.

Tagarda said an ongoing investigation is conducted against the six jail guards on duty when Bangkola escaped.

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The on-duty jail guards were Prison Guards 1 Josias Dajuya, Noranto Balbutin, Jeferson Lagumbay, Edgardo Taganahan, Clarito Cabi, and Achibald Lobendina as the supervisor.

Tagarda said the jail guards will not be relieved yet pending the order from Governor Oscar Moreno.

“As of now, we utilized them for the hot pursuit operation against Bangkola. I cannot relieve them because I don’t have the authority. It is only the governor who can relieve them,” he told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Tagarda said he did not expect that an inmate would escape using the main gate.

Initial investigation showed that Bangkola escaped after the visit of his live-in partner and mother. He reportedly changed his orange prisoner’s t-shirt to a green t-shirt.

At the time of his escape, a “trustee inmate” was the one who guarded the jail’s main gate.

However, the “trustee inmate” reportedly failed to recognize him when he passed through the gate.

Tagarda admitted they sometimes utilized some “trustee inmates” to open and close the main gate.

Bangkola, along with five others, were arrested by operatives of Opol Police Station sometime in July this year for alleged carnapping.

However, on October 19, four of Bangkola’s co-accused identified as Panarigan Mamantar Salic, Balindong Mahid Mamantar Salic, Mohammad Balindong Shedique Ali, and Yusoph Mocsana were released upon the order of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for lack of probable cause.

Bangkola and another co-accused identified as Said Maute were not included in the release order.

Related to this, Vice Governor Norris Babiera has ordered the Provincial Legal Office to investigate the incident and to send their findings and recommendation to Governor Moreno for appropriate action.

“Based on the initial investigation, there are lapses on the part of the jail guards,” Babiera said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 23, 2012.

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