MABALACAT CITY -- A South Korean national, who is facing illegal possession of firearms and prohibited drug charges, escaped after a court hearing Wednesday, October 16, in Tarlac City.
The suspect, Park Wang Yeol, has been detained at the Pampanga Provincial Jail (PPJ) since 2016 for three counts of murder in Bacolor. The court committed him to the PPJ for a case of illegal possession of firearms in Tarlac.
Park, 41, a businessman from South Korea, reportedly eluded his prison guard escorts with his girlfriend identified as Elvie Samson Fider, 32, a former overseas Filipino worker and resident of Barangay Balete, Tarlac City.
Prison Guard 1 (PG1) Randy Sibug reportedly escorted Park at the Regional Trial Court Branch 64 in Tarlac City for the suspect's arraignment.
However, the hearing was reset by the court due to the unavailability of the duty prosecutor, police said.
On their way back to Pampanga, the group decided to take their lunch at Julias Kambingan situated along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay San Rafael, Tarlac City.
Sibug and the other four prison guards -- PG1 Clarito Mendoza, PG1 Danilo Gonzales, PG1 Danilo Aragon and PG1 Carlo Layag -- occupied a table to order for food, while Park went straight to the comfort room of the establishment.
After a few minutes, the prison guards discovered that the inmate was missing. Park reportedly escaped through the ventilation window of the comfort room.
A flash alarm was immediately sent to all police units in the area for the possible rearrest of the suspect.
The five prison guards were charged with infidelity in the custody of prisoner Thursday, October 17, at the Tarlac Prosecutors Office, according to Pampanga Provincial Jail Warden Edwin Mangaliman.
Meanwhile, Governor Dennis Pineda ordered Thursday the preventive suspension of five prison guards after the escape of Park.
Gonzales, Layag, Mendoza, and Aragon have also been restricted inside the PPJ while they undergo investigation on Park's escape.
"At my instruction, the Pampanga police have been tracking down the whereabouts of Park," the governor said.
The police have flashed alarms for Park's capture, who is still at large as of Thursday, October 17. (With a report from the Pampanga Provincial Information Office)