TWENTY of the 158 inmates who escaped the North Cotabato District Jail (NCDJ) are already back in government custody, the penitentiary's officer-in-charge Superintendent Peter Bongat said Thursday.

He said of the 20, five were dead, two were in critical condition and the 13 were back in jail.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, over a hundred of gunmen stormed the NCDJ. While the jail officers were retaliating, the prisoners took the opportunity to escape through the back portion of the facility.

A total of 158 prisoners bolted the jail.

Bongat earlier said that seven were killed in the incident, including six inmates and one of their jail guards identified as Excell Ray Vecido.

However, he clarified that only five inmates were killed at that time as the other one was revived in the hospital.

“Na-revived daw po ‘yung isa sa (inmates). ‘Yun kasi ang report sa akin kahapon,” he said.

Joint teams from the Special Action Force, Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are continuously conducting clearing and pursuit operations within the jail vicinity and the surrounding area. (Sunnex)