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3 jail escapees die in shootout

Three of four prisoners who escaped from Negros Oriental Provincial Jail last week were killed when they shot it out with policemen in Sitio Tinibgan, Barangay Saying, Tayasan, Negros Oriental at about 4 p.m., Sunday.

Senior Supt. Harris Fama, police director, said the escapees – Aspacio Maximo, Richard Balasabas, and James Magdasal – died when they engaged the cops in a 30-minute gunfight. The fourth escapee, Rico Bandico, was arrested.

The slain suspects were three of the four of the prisoners who bolted the provincial on May 8 after holding hostage a lady pastor who was conducting a Bible study inside the jail facility.

Following the jail break, Fama immediately formed a team of policemen headed by Chief Inspector Benedict Poblete of the Provincial Public Safety Office, Supt. Rey Andot, and Supt. Carlos Laquesta of the Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) to go after the escapees.

Around 4 p.m., a concerned citizen informed the police about the presence of the four escapees in Sitio Tinibgan, Barangay Saying, Municpality of Tayasan.

Fama immediately deployed the team to the place which is 4 kilometers away from the highway.

He said the escapees, upon seeing the approaching lawmen, fired shots at the cops, triggering a 30-minute firefight.

The three escapees died on the spot, while Badico was apprehended, according to Fama.

Police recovered from the crime scene a .38-caliber revolver, a sumpak (homemade shotgun) and two fragmentation grenades.

Fama said the slain escapees had murder cases.