Monday, February 20, 2012

3 dead, 12 injured in Kidapawan jail attack


KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – Three persons were killed while 12 others were injured following an attack on the city jail here around 10 p.m. Sunday, February 19.

This after more or less 50 heavily unidentified armed men fired a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) to the wall of the city jail in an attempt to rescue Datukan Samad alias Lastikman.

The attack began with the rebels firing B-40 anti-tank rockets at the entrance of the city jail.  Personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology  (BJMP) who were  on duty returned fire, forcing the attackers to retreat.

Jail Officer 2 Joel Litada and 15 others were wounded in the ensuing shootout. They are now confined at different hospitals here.

The fatalities were identified as Benny Balmediano, Ian Carlos Sevilla and Mark Anthony Morales.

Senior Supt. Chino Mamburam, director of the Kidapawan City police, said the slain Sevilla and Morales were drinking inside Molos Videoke House, about a block away from the city jail.

Another group shot the victims with assault rifles to create a diversion.

Just after the attackers and the BJMP personnel traded shots, another armed group blasted a powerful improvised explosive device at the entrance to the BFP’s headquarters behind the city jail, wounding three firemen, among them Chief Inspector Romeo Tactaquin.

Notorious “Lastikman”

Mamburan said the attackers, some of them overheard by witnesses as conversing with each other in ethnic Maguindanaon dialect, were to rescue Samad.

Samad was implicated in the killings of more than 30 people in Pikit, North Cotabato in recent years.

Samad and his followers were suspects of the more than 50 highway robberies in stretches of the Cotabato-Davao Highway.

Military intelligence sources said the group that attempted to rescue Samad was comprised of rogue rebels from Pikit and nearby Pagalungan and Montawal towns, both in Maguindanao.

“Some of them were the same men that twice attacked the (North Cotabato) provincial jail several years ago,” a senior Army intelligence officer told reporters.

Arrested in Cotabato City

Samad was arrested in Cotabato City about two months ago for carrying guns and grenades while he and his companions Guiamelon Pangako and Eliseo Lamayo were to leave for Pikit on board a motorcycle.

The Cotabato City police committed Samad to a North Cotabato court that issued one of more than two dozens of warrants for his arrest.

The North Cotabato provincial police and the court worked out Samad’s detention at the city jail here in anticipation of his possible rescue by his followers, having seen two attacks by Moro rebels at the North Cotabato provincial jail in the secluded Barangay Amas here, which resulted to the escape of dozens of inmates.

Among those that escaped in one of the incidents was Datu Ali Sultan, a guerilla bomb-maker, who was said to have trained in Kandahar, Afganistan in the late 1980s. 
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The Philippine Star
February 20, 2012 11:33 AM

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