TWO men who bolted from the Basilan Provincial Jail were killed in a firefight with government troops on Sunday afternoon, October 18, 2020, the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said.
Joint Task Force Basilan commander Domingo Gobway on Monday, October 19, identified the killed escapees as Nurhassan Lahaman and Battuh Kusain Murag.
Lahaman was allegedly a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group. He was jailed on murder charges.
Murag was also a member of the terrorist group that perpetrated the Lamitan City bombing in July 2018. He was in jail on charges of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder.
Wesmincom commander Corleto Vinluan said the two fugitives initiated a firefight when they spotted the troops from the 4th Special Forces Battalion who were conducting pursuit operations in Rubber-land Resort in Barangay Cabunbata, Isabela City .
No casualty was reported on the government side.
Recovered from the killed fugitives were one M653 rifle with a short magazine and 17 ammunition, and one caliber 45 pistol with a magazine and seven ammunition.
Lahaman and Murag were among eight detainees who bolted from the Basilan Provincial Jail in Isabela City on October 13.
A jail officer and another inmate, who was also a member of a terrorist group, were killed during the escape.
On October 14, one of the escapees identified as Mahad Hassan was apprehended by government forces in Barangay Calvario of the same city.
The other escapees were identified as Gappal Saripada, who is facing charges for multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder; Hernie Asao for illegal possession of explosives and firearms; Albaser Ahmad, murder and frustrated murder; and Kaliji Hajirul, murder.
Saripada and Ahmad were also involved in the Lamitan bombing. (SunStar Philippines)