4 detainees bolt from Cebu station; 2 captured again-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
CEBU – Four detainees of a police station in Lapu-Lapu City escaped Saturday morning, but two of them were captured hours later.
Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) Acting Chief Rey Lyndon Lawas immediately ordered the relief of Police Officer 2 (PO2) Jude Salazar, the jail guard on duty, and Police Station 3 Chief Inspector Donald Geniston.
Mayor Paz Radaza ordered the police to conduct a thorough investigation.
The jailbreak was discovered at 8:20 a.m., but one of the detainees said they escaped around 7:30 a.m.
Inspector Geniston captured Albert Torregoza, 24, at 10:15 a.m. while the latter was walking in Barangay Alegria, Cordova, where he lives.
Shortly before noon, PO2 Salazar arrested Christopher Cernal, 20, at the latter’s residence in Sitio Kinalumsan, Barangay Gun-ob.
The police are still searching for Junry Iran, 21, and Benjamin Aparri Jr., 27.
SPO3 Rogelio Trinidad Jr. of the Police Station 3 said the detainees escaped by removing an iron bar while PO2 Salazar went out to buy something.
Salazar’s shift was supposed to end at 8 a.m.
The detention cell is located in front of the public market in Barangay Poblacion, in the police station’s old building.
The station transferred to a new building near Hoops Dome in Barangay Gun-ob early last year.
“A vendor and three tricycle dispatchers saw the detainees run away from the cell,” Trinidad said in Cebuano.
SPO1 Joseph Andrin, a member of the police mobile patrol, noticed that the cell was empty at 8:20 a.m.
All of the detainees were arrested last month. Iran, a resident of Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City, was arrested for theft last Friday.
Cernal was arrested last August 15 for violation of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act.
Torregoza, a native of Buenavista, Bohol, is facing a shoplifting case while Aparri, a native of Zamboanga del Sur, was charged with robbery with extortion.
It was Iran who kicked one of the iron bars until it was removed, Torregoza told Sun.Star Cebu.
“He was determined to escape because he doesn’t have money for bail,” he said in Cebuano.
Torregoza said he regretted his escape because his father was supposed to bail him out on Monday.
“I had no plans of escaping but I was rattled when they started leaving the cell,” he said.
Lawas said the detainees will face additional charges because escaping is a criminal offense.
While facing investigation, Salazar and Geniston will be assigned at the Personnel Holdings Unit of the LLCPO.
“Geniston is relieved because of command responsibility,” Lawas said in a phone interview.
Sun.Star Cebu called Geniston and Salazar but their mobile phones were unattended.
“Even though they are relieved, they are still required to participate in the hot pursuit operation,” Lawas said.
He said it was the first jail break since he assumed as acting chief of LLCPO.
“We have to determine the cause of the escape,” said Lawas. He said he has seen the detention cell three times and found it to be in good condition.
Lawas said one police officer is assigned to guard the detention cell for every shift.
More than one police officer may be assigned depending on the number of detainees.
But in the case of Police Station 3, where there are only four detainees, one jail guard is enough.
“It was not a case of a jail guard being overpowered by detainees,” Lawas said of Saturday’s jail break.
He added that Salazar may have been gone for several minutes because escaping from the cell would take time. Right across from the detention cell is a table where the jail guard is supposed to occupy, Lawas said.
“We will look into the state of the detention cells,” he said.
Even though they have a detention cell in their new building, PO2 Roel Pelones of Police Station 3 said they keep their detainees in the old cell, which has water supply.
Torregoza and Cernal are now staying at the new detention cell, which is a kilometer away from the old one. (RSB of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2012.