Outmuscling the detention facility’s weak security, suspected Muslim rebels freed thirty-one detainees of the Basilan provincial jail. Of the 31, about ten were Abu Sayaff militants and about three were Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters. And to make matters worst, one of the MILF escapees was a notorious commander who was one of the masterminds of the 2007 kidnapping of an Italian priest and the beheading of ten marines. He had a P2-million bounty on his head.
The criminals detained in this asylum are very high-profile and the security capability of the penitentiary is very low. It is no suprise that jailbreaks happen in this province at least ten times a year and it is not a suprise that the most cruel of criminals here aren’t afraid of incarceration since they could easily get away with it.
The jailguards did all they can to stop the inmates from escaping, they fought until they could fight no more. They managed to capture one and kill another. But the perpetrators were too many, and those escaping had faded into the jungles already. The escapees are expected to reunite with their cohorts, putting the efforts of those who had captured them to waste and those who stood as witness against them in serious risk.
It is a mystery as to why the government would allow such high-risk detainees to stay in such a minimum-security prison cell. It must’ve taken months if not years to hunt down those captured, and to gather them in a no good prison cell just puts all that time to waste. Security should be beefed up in the cell, and so should intelligence. If the security foresees an attack, then they can prepare for it and properly repel it. And if the province of Basilan, or any other impoverished Philippine province can’t afford such security then the inmates could at least be moved to a more secure area like in Manila or in Cebu where it would be harder to hide from the authorities. There are, of course, alternatives.
This jailbreak is an evidence as to how weak the judiciary is in the Philippines. The real criminals, if not buy their way out of jail eludes it anyway through physical force. There are millions probably of victims in the country seeking justice, especially during the 2007 beheading of marines. The perpetrators have broken free. The government must guarantee their immediate capture or else their judicary would face a big blow once more.