Rama fires staff after CICLs' escape

File photo
File photo

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the immediate removal of all staff of Operation Second Chance, the city’s correctional facility for children in conflict with the law (CICL), following the escape of nine minors Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Rama expressed dismay after 30 minors attempted to escape the facility, taking advantage of the open gates during the entry of a garbage truck to collect the trash. Nine successfully escaped, six were recaptured, while three CICLs remain missing.

“I demand that all of them should be out. All of them,” said the mayor, referring to the facility’s personnel.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has temporarily taken over the facility in compliance with the mayor’s directive.

“I’m not saying that they (police) will be the ones running, but today there should be a complete (takeover) because I already told them the direction and I’m waiting for how they will go about it,” Rama said.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Chief Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog said there are originally three policemen assigned to Operation Second Chance to beef up security there.

The CCPO is now eyeing to replace all personnel of Operation Second Chance following the order of Rama to take control of the facility.


Dalogdog said the 30 minors planned the escape. They rushed towards the open gate during garbage collection and retreated only when the Special Tactics and Response personnel fired warning shots.

The nine escapees disregarded the warning shots and continued to flee. Six were recaptured by guards of the Cebu City jail dormitory during a hot pursuit operation in Sitio Langub, Barangay Guadalupe.

The police continue to search for the missing three CICLs while beefing up the security at the facility.

According to Dalogdog, to prevent the incident from happening again, they would install additional steel gates, CCTV cameras and alarm systems, and deploy additional police personnel in the facility.

Initial investigations revealed that the probable reason for the children trying to escape was because of them “getting mad” over their contraband like cigarettes being intercepted by the staff.

With this, Councilor Phillip Zafra, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on public order, said the City will install steel matting with netting to the perimeter fence and an additional gate inside the facility, to prevent further escapes.

The steel matting with netting should prevent contraband from being thrown over the wall from the outside, said Zafra.


Zafra told SunStar Cebu there will be an investigation to find out if the staff were negligent during the incident.

This is not the first time the CICLs attempted to escape the facility. Just last January, at least 17 CICLs also escaped from the facility.

The councilor added that the Council will recommend to Mayor Rama to hire psychologists to be stationed at the center to cater to the needs of the children.

“We will recommend to the mayor na muhire gyod ta og mga psychologists and the like kay amo gyung na suta gikinahanglan gyud. It will really help the child, the person, the character, the innermost of the child should be addressed, nganong nagkaproblema siya ingon ana,” Zafra added.

(We will recommend to the mayor that we will hire psychologists and the like because that is what we need. It will help the child, the person, the character, and the innermost of the child should be addressed why they are facing those problems.) (EKV)


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