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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, November 19, 2013
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NOPPO alerted against
Tacloban jail escapees

The Philippine National Police in Negros Oriental has been alerted against the possible arrival in the province of the inmates, who fled from the Tacloban provincial jail in Leyte after it was hit by super typhoon “Yolanda”.

OIC provincial police director, Supt. Alet Virtucio, said yesterday, however, that is very remote as it is difficult to leave Leyte from Cebu, or even Manila, unless one can present proper credentials.

Virtucio admitted, though, that a routine message from the PNP Region 7 Office was sent out to the provincial police offices in Central Visayas to be on the lookout for the escaped inmates.

Sea travel between Cebu and Leyte resumed several days after the super-typhoon that pummeled Eastern Visayas. Negros Oriental is accessible via land trip and sea craft from Cebu but, Virtucio said, it is highly unlikely that the inmates had left Tacloban as they do not have any form of identification.

It is also not easy to just board C-130 planes ferrying survivors from Leyte to Cebu as proper credentials or any certification from local officials, or government agencies is required, he added.

The inmates escaped by breaking a wall as jail guards fired shots at them. It was not known how many actually fled or had returned to the jail facility.

The NOPPO, meanwhile, deployed augmentation troops to increase the security capability of the Dumaguete police station for the ongoing 65th city fiesta celebration.

Virtucio said they received reports of suspected criminals arriving in Dumaguete to take advantage of the revelry. The Dumaguete police station is on full alert status with the augmentation forces of SWAT and Provincial Public Safety Company operatives from the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office, he added.*JFP

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