4 Masbate escapees, 2 cops charged over jailbreak

A JAILBREAK at the Milagros Municipal Police Station lock-up facility in Masbate last May 12 has triggered the filing of a string of criminal charges against the four escapees who were eventually recaptured and two policemen who were on duty when the prisoners forcibly bolted their cell, a Police Regional Office 5 report said yesterday.

A case for malicious mischief was filed last Monday against the four escapees who were all residents of Milagros municipality while duty custodial officer, Staff Sergeant Antonio Clemente Jr. and duty station guard, Corporal Prudencio Conde Jr. were charged for evasion thru negligence before the Masbate Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, said PRO5 director, Brigadier General Anthony S. Alcañeses.

The escapees were identified as Geneses Alcalde,31, a fisherman jailed for a frustrated murder case; Noel Bruca, a 27-year old deaf-mute  facing charges for robbery and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition; Ricky Cortes, 18, a laborer; and Raul Nuñez Sr., 44, a farmer jailed for rape.

An investigation showed that the four bolted the lock-up facility in Barangay Bacolod around 3:30 a.m. last May 12 by sawing off an iron bar and bending it to give them some space to escape going to the grassy portion at the back of the station.

Alcañeses said that Milagros police station commander, Major Rodel Arevalo, led the manhunt operation against the four after the jail escape was discovered.

The Bicol police director said he has also ordered Arevalo to thoroughly explain the evident negligence of his men which allowed the four to escape.

Around 1 a.m. last May 13, members of the Masbate Police Provincial Office’s 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company led by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Joseph Jaucian and Arevalo, with the help of local barangay authorities arrested Nuñez  who was found hiding in a creek in Bgy. Bonbon.

Six hours later, the officers arrested Alcalde in Bgy. Igang with the help of village officials. Around 10:40 a.m. of the same day, the policemen arrested Cortes in Bgy. Bonbon with the help of barangay officials.

The following morning, the same team of policemen accounted for the last escapee—Broca—who was found hiding in Sitio Feeder Road in Bgy. Bacolod.