SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The Interim Special Action Committee (ISAC) of North Cotabato provincial peace and order council investigating the January 4 jailbreak found out that the then-jail warden, Supt. Peter Bongat, was not at the jail when armed men attacked it to rescue a drug lord, Melvin Casangyao.
This is contrary to Bongat’s allegations that he and his guards were outnumbered and overwhelmed, causing the escape of 158 detainees.
Inmates and guards who cooperated in the investigation also confirmed that Bongat was not in the compound when Ismael Nasser, alias Commander Derby, and his men stormed North Cotabato District Jail in Kidapawan City.
Chief Insp. Jesus Singson on Tuesday replaced Bongat as warden of the controversial jail facility.
Bongat was sacked pending investigation on order of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Among those who bolted jail were more than a dozen followers of fugitive drug lords Renz Tukuran and Moks Masgal, whose drug rings in North Cotabato were neutralized in a series of operations in 2015.
Meanwhile, provincial board members Rolly Sacdalan and Kelly Antao, who are also members of the ISAC, said 94 of 158 inmates who escaped are facing drug trafficking cases in local courts.
The ISAC investigation showed that the daring attack was staged after Casangyao offered Commander Derby P1 million to spring him from the jail.
North Cotabato acting Gov. Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva, ISAC head, on Wednesday recommended P1-million reward each for the arrest of Nasser and Casangyao, and P10,000 each for the recapture of the 99 fugitives.
The governor said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) committed an additional reward of P1 million each for information leading to the arrest of Nasser and Casangyao.
She added that the DILG will also match the P10,000 reward for each of the remaining escapees.