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North Cotabato prov’l jail on alert

COTABATO CITY – Jail officials and security personnel have been placed on heightened alert as officials uncovered a plot by an armed group to “rescue” high-profile detained suspected bombers at the North Cotabato provincial jail here.

As jail authorities applied tighter security measures, the inmates held noise barrage last week to protest what they claimed as inhuman acts of jail officials.

The North Cotabato provincial jail situated at the back of the provincial capitol houses some 1,200 drug offenders, including suspected bombers identified with Moro lawless elements.

Some of the inmates were foreign trained or had bomb-making training by slain Indonesian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan.”

The jail facility also houses drug syndicates arrested during the implementation of “Oplan: Double Barrel,” an anti-drug, anti-crime campaign by the Duterte administration.

Detained high profile suspects have been “rescued” by their comrades in the past.

“We have highly placed intelligence information outlawed groups are plotting to rescue bombing suspects detained at the provincial jail,” provincial jail warden Superintendent Peter Bungat Jr. told reporters.

“Our security measures are aimed to forestall possible jailbreaks and avoid similar incidents that happened in recent years,” he added.

Among the measures was the ban on bringing in of food by visitors who repeatedly tried to sneak in prohibited drugs inside the jail facility.

During the implementation of “Oplan: Greyhound,” an action against prohibited stuff and bladed weapons, jail officials seized illegal drugs, bladed weapons, mobile phones, truncheons, and knives, among others. (PNA)