CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Five of 13 inmates who cut their way out of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) jail facility have voluntarily surrendered to authorities accompanied by their parents and guardians, key official of the government anti-illegal drug agency said in a statement.
“Five of the 13 detainees who have joined in the jailbreak have surrendered to PDEA through the help of local police in Balagtas, Bulacan,” said Glenn Guillermo, spokesman of PDEA regional office stationed in this city.
In a text message, Guillermo identified the five detainees as Marlon Orezca of Plaridel town; Russel Derick de Jesus, of Guiguinto; Rommel Reyes and Renante Reyes, both of Baliwag; and Jeric Castillo, of Plaridel, all in Bulacan.
Guillermo said the inmates who bolted cell have standing drug cases in different courts in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan and Tarlac and are now the object of massive manhunt by PDEA and local police.
“Massive manhunt was launched since Sunday for the capture of eight remaining escapees. We’re communicating with the families of detainees to convince them to surrender once they surface,” said Guillermo.
Meanwhile, PDEA regional director Juvenal Azurin was called to report to PDEA higher headquarters apparently to explain apparently on the jailbreak incident.
Azurin in earlier statement said investigation is on progress to determine how the detainees were able to sneak an iron saw inside the jail facility.
The entire PDEA jail facility was clamped down to visitors and heavily guarded by fully armed personnel.
President Duterte has made PDEA the country’s main anti-drug agency after suspending police operations due to controversies being faced by some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the campaign against the so-called menace of society.
Selected members of the armed forces are undergoing training with the PDEA to serve as back-up support in the anti-illegal drugs operations.
Local government units in Central Luzon have urged President Duterte to lift the suspension of the police in the campaign against illegal drugs.
“Police is on its right direction in running after illegal drugs personalities. Return back to the PNP the power to go after drug traffickers,” a low-level LGU executive who declined to be identified said over the phone.