THREE of the four inmates who escaped from the Negros Oriental Detention and Rehabilitation Center (NODRC) in Dumaguete City a week ago were killed in a shootout with the police in Tayasan town Sunday.
Killed during the manhunt operation were James Magdasal, Richard Balasabas, and Maximo Aspacio, all charged for murder.
The three fugitives together with Rico Bandico, who is charged for illegal possession of firearms, bolted the detention facility on May 8 after they held hostage a woman who was conducting a Bible study.
Inspector Luis Lakandula, town police chief, said a manhunt team composed of operatives from the Provincial Public Safety Company and the Special Weapons and Tactics were formed after they received reports that the fugitives were hiding in Sitio Tinibgan, Barangay Saying in the said town.
In coordination with the Tayasan Municipal Police Station, the team proceeded to the mountainous portion of the village, about four kilometers away from the highway, at around 3 p.m.
As policemen approached the hideout, the fugitives fired at the operatives, which resulted to a brief chase and exchange of gunfire that lasted for about 30 minutes, Lakandula said.
Recovered from the scene were a .38 caliber, an improvised shotgun locally known as sulpak, and two hand grenades.
Lakandula said the police operatives were unharmed.
Bandico was not injured, and will be turned over to the NODRC today, and will also face more charges for possessing a grenade, the police chief added.