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Ten inmates, including two Chinese nationals facing illegal drugs charges, were killed while the Parañaque City Jail warden was seriously injured when a grenade exploded as violence erupted inside the detention facility Thursday night.
Senior Supt. Jose Carumba, city police chief, identified the fatalities as Jacky Huang, Yunghan Cai, both Chinese nationals; Warren Manampen, Ronald Domdom, Danilo Pineda, Oliver Sarreal, Jeremi Flores, Rodel Domdom, all facing illegal drugs charges; Jonathan Ilas, slapped with robbery and illegal drugs cases; and Joseph Villasor, who was detained for robbery with homicide charges.
Jail Warden Supt. Gerald Bantag sustained shrapnel wounds on the face, body and legs and was rushed to Parañaque City Hospital for treatment.
According to Carumba, the incident happened at about 8:30 p.m. inside the office of Bantag.
Carumba said that prior to the incident, the 10 inmates were brought by Senior Jail Officer I Ricardo Zulueta to the office of Bantag at the ground floor of the jail for a dialogue on the jail warden’s plan to transfer the inmates to other detention cell.
He said that Bantag was reportedly brushing his teeth inside the comfort room when the 10 inmates arrived inside his office together with JOI Zulueta.
The city police chief said they have yet to get the full details how the violence erupted inside the office of Bantag.
Carumba said that Zulueta admitted that he brought the 10 inmates without subjecting them first to body search.
The jail personnel claimed that Bantag, who sensed that the inmates were armed, pulled out his service firearm and allegedly tried to shoot them.
One of the inmates whom the jail personnel could not identify said was armed with an improvised explosive and threw it when violence erupted.
Police theorized that there was a plan for a jail break among the inmates confined inside the jail while the 10 armed inmates were holding a dialogue with Bantag.
Chief Inspector Ariel Sanchez of Parañaque Station Investigation and Detective Management Branch, said the inmates reportedly wanted to air their objection to their supposed transfer to another detention cell.
“Nakiusap sila na makausap si warden (Bantag) dahil ayaw nga nila malipat. Pinagbigyan naman sila,” Sanchez said.
“Pagkarating sa opisina, lumabas agad ‘yong nag-escort sa kanila na jail officer para mag-isip. Wala pang limang minuto, ayon, nagkagulo na,” Sanchez said.
Report said successive gunfire were heard inside Bantag’s office, followed by two loud explosions.
The jail guards claimed that the inmates were armed with guns, knives, and grenades.
On duty jail officers immediately requested assistance from the nearby Parañaque Police Community Precinct (PCP) 3, elements of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and Carumba.
Other inmates held a noise barrage to express their anger, shouting that their fellow prisoners were unarmed and were actually killed.
Eight of the victims died on the spot while Cai and Ilas were declared dead on arrival at Ospital ng Parañaque.
Police learned that the two Chinese men killed in the jail blast were arrested in an anti-illegal drug operation in Parañaque City recently.
Crime scene investigators from the Southern Police District discovered an UZI sub-machine gun and an empty magazine, two safety pins of a hand grenade, 14 pieces of spent shells from a .9mm pistol, and two deformed bullets inside the jail warden’s office.
Officials of the Parañaque City Jail are now in hot water after questions were raised on how guns and grenades were found inside the detention facility.
Sanchez said that if proven true that the inmates were armed, the Bureau of Jail and Management of Penelogy (BJMP)-Parañaque should be held liable for lapse in their security.
“The BJMP has already relieved Bantag and nine second shift jail personnel from their posts.