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5 high-profile drug detainees escape South Cotabato jail

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato – Five high-profile inmates who are all involved in drug-related cases escaped Saturday night from their prison cells in this city.

Koronadal City police chief P/Supt. Barney Condes said a manhunt operation is now in place to track down and eventually arrest the five notorious prisoners.

Condes said the city police together with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology have combined their forces for the recapturing of Christopher Mañalang, 38; Ruel Austria, 46: Federico Abaygar, 48; Edgar Tiad, 42 and Roselito Delfin 46, who are all facing illegal drug charges.

Condes reveals that the escapees bolted their cells by sawing off the iron grill of their windows last weekend.

Noel Tirado, a civil security personnel assigned in the nearby old city hall building told investigators he saw the escapees sneak out at the back of the jail facility.

Condes said the escapees were among the top drug personalities in the city arrested by the police in a series of anti-drug operations the past months. (Joseph Jubelag)