Five escape from jail in Compostela
Rowena D. Capistrano (The Freeman) - April 8, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The station chief and jail officer of the Compostela police are in hot water following the escape of five detainees at dawn yesterday.

The station chief, Police Chief Insp. Romeo Caacoy, said jail officer SPO2 Jaime Maroliña found the five missing when he was doing a head count at the end of his shift at past 5 a.m.

“Nagpahigayon og pag-ihap akong tawo sa dihang iyang nabantayan nga lima ang nakapuga, hinungdan dali ko nga gipahibalo,” Caacoy said.

The five escaped by sawing two grills off the cell window.

The five were identified as Giovanni Tapayan, Joel Cuyos, Joseph Pio Mahinay, Rubin Catipay and Nelson Agbay.

Tapayan, Cuyos and Mahinay were arrested for drugs charges while Catipay was placed behind bars for violating the anti-fencing law. Agbay is facing charges for illegal gambling.

The Provincial Police Office immediately sent a composite team to Compostela to investigate the incident and help in rearresting the five.

Late yesterday afternoon, they arrested Catipay while Cuyos surrendered back to the police together with his wife.


Police Chief Insp. Gerard Ace Pelare, OIC chief of the Provincial Operations and Plans Branch, said protocol dictates that an investigation will have to be opened against Caacoy and Maroliña, depending on the recommendation of the composite team.

Caacoy and Maroliña may also be relieved from their posts.

“Base sa protocol, imbestigahan gyud ang hepe ug ang naeskapohan pero magpaabot sa rekomendasyon sa atong investigation team," he told The Freeman yesterday.

The composite team is led by Police Supt. Mina Domingo, deputy provincial director for operations.

Pelare believes the three other escapees have not gone far.

“Wala pa to sila kalayo… posibleng naa pa to sa bukid ilabi na gipahibalo na ang ilang pag-eskapo mao gamit ang tanan resources ato silang gi-track karon," he said.


Caacoy revealed the detention cell at the police station is built only for eight detainees but as of yesterday, it was housing 38 detainees.

He said this is probably the reason why his men did not notice that the detainees were already sawing the grills off slowly.

“Walo ra gyud ang capacity sa atong prisohan, apan sa wala pa makaikyas ang lima ka mga priso, 38 ni sila kabuok hinungdan ang uban kay gamit lang og duyan nga gihigot-higot sa mga kabilya maoy hinungdan nga didto to gitrabaho ang paggabas sa kabilya," he said.

He said he himself will investigate how the detainees go hold of the tools used to saw the bars.

"Atong inbestigahan kung unsa ila gigamit gabas ba gayud o lain, ug asa usab sila gikan niini," he told The Freeman.

Meanwhile, Pelare said Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Eric Noble has ordered all detention cells in the province checked.

"Tanang CPPO staff officer gimanduan na sa provincial director isip district supervisor aron susihon ang kahimtang sa tanang mga prisohan ug luwas pa ba kini ngadto sa mga priso," he said. (FREEMAN)

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