Police catch 6 of 10 escaped Pasay City detainees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 3) — Four detainees who escaped from the Malibay Detention Facility in Pasay City before dawn on Holy Monday are still on the loose, while six have been rearrested, according to police.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said escapees Joey Hernandez, Eden Garcia, Joshua Panganiban, Tirzo Galit, Christian Salvatierra, and John Michael Cabe were caught hours after they were discovered to have bolted from the facility in Malibay Police Sub-Station 6 along with four other persons under police custody (PUPCs).

Hernandez and Garcia were apprehended in Barangay 59, Pasay City at around 11:30 a.m., the NCRPO said. Both are facing charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Robbery suspects Panganiban and Galit were rearrested later in the afternoon. Police said Panganiban was caught in Barangay Santa Ana in Taytay, Rizal, while Galit surrendered to authorities.

Salvatierra, who is also facing charges for violation of RA 9165, was captured at around 4:45 p.m. in Barangay Parian in Calamba City, Laguna through a joint operation of Pasay City and Calamba City police.

The latest to be rearrested is carnapping suspect Cabe, who was apprehended in Barangay San Dionisio in Parañaque City at around 8:40 p.m.

Four others who remain at large are facing illegal drug charges. Police identified them as:

- Richard dela Cruz (Violation of RA 9165)

- Carlo Magno Benavidez (Violation of RA 9165)

- Norman Deyta (Violation of RA 9165)

- Romeo Estopa (Violation of RA 9165)

Estopa wasn’t among those initially identified by authorities as an escapee. However, photos later released by police included him instead of another suspect they previously named.

(Photo from the Southern Police District)

Authorities said they found out at 4:30 a.m. that the 10 PUPCs had cut through the metal grills of the detention facility.

“Initial investigation disclosed that three of the prisoners managed to break the iron bar of the main facility then held and mauled the duty jailer and took his service firearm, cash money and assorted keys of the jail,” the Southern Police District (SPD) said.

Meanwhile, the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) ordered the temporary dismissal of Police Major Jerry Sunga – commander of Malibay Police Sub-Station 6 – as well as of the designated jailer to give way to an impartial investigation.

The SPD also said administrative sanctions will be imposed on personnel found to have committed lapses that enabled the escape.

“Papapanagutin natin kung sino man ang mapatunayan na may pagkukulang hinggil sa bagay na ito [We will hold accountable anyone proven to be responsible for this incident],” NCRPO Regional Director Major General Edgar Alan Okubo said.

Manhunt operations continue, with Okubo saying he has ordered the capture of all escapees within 48 hours.

However, Pasay City Mayor Imelda “Emi” Calixto-Rubiano wants the PUPCs to be apprehended within 24 hours, the city’s public information office said.

The local government added that the mayor is ready to give a reward of ₱30,000 per detainee to anyone who can provide information that will lead to their rearrest.

District Director Police Brigadier General Kirby Kraft urged anyone with information on the whereabouts of the PUPCs to coordinate with authorities by going to the nearest police station or by contacting any of the following numbers: 09568005277, 09985987922, 09173661036.