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P2.9-M bounty up for Kidapawan fugitives

KIDAPAWAN CITY – A reward of almost P3 million has been put up by authorities for the arrest of the remaining escapees of the January 4 jailbreak here.

Acting Gov. Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva said that of the said amount, one million has been set each for the recapture of Esmael Nasser alias Derby and alleged drug lord Melvin Casangyao while the remaining 90 inmates have a 10,000 tag each for their recapture.

Nasser is the primary suspect in the 2013 death of Kabacan vice mayor Policarpio Dulay and was later on tagged as the brains behind the 2014 bombing of the Univesity of Southern Mindanao campus that killed one and wounded 17 others.

It has been reported that Casangyao offered one million for Derby to arrange their escape plans using the bomber’s men.

Villanueva said the SAC proposed that the money for the rewards be drawn from the peace and security budget of the provincial government, and for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to complement the funds.

Meantime Villanueva clarified that only about 20 armed people were involved in the jailbreak as opposed to the alleged 100 raiders initially reported by then provincial warden Peter John Bongngat Jr. who was sacked due to the incident.

A two-hour gunfight between the Muslim rebels and government security forces resulted in the killing of a rookie jail guard, five inmates, and a barangay kagawad.

There were about 1,500 inmates when the attack happened with the escapees taking advantage of the firefight to break out using their beds as ladders.

Prior to the attack, words spread around the jail facility before New Year that a raid will be conducted to rescue high profile inmates believed to be members of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. (ALI G. MACABALANG)