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Rearrested jail escapees say gunmen threatened to shoot them if they refused to flee
By Edwin O. Fernandez

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- Fear of being shot or being torched alive was one of the reasons some inmates of North Cotabato District Jail (NDJC) fled after gunmen attacked the jail facility on January 3.

“I have no plan to escape at all,” Nilo Cadungog, a 39-year-old former militiaman detained for frustrated murder, told the police chief of Carmen town in North Cotabato.

Cadungog, a resident of Barangay Tonganon, volunteered to surrender to Chief Inspector Julius Malcontento, Carmen town police chief.

“He said he feared for his life and opted to peacefully surrender to us,” Malcontento told the Inquirer.

Cadungog was among the 158 inmates of the provincial jail facility who fled at the height of attacks by about eight gunmen at 1 a.m. on January 4.

He told Malcontento that he has no plan of leaving the jail facility while his jail mates were rushing out of the compound under cover of darkness.

“The armed men told us to run or we will be shot,” Malcontento quoted Cadungog as saying. “They also told us if we will not leave our cell, they will set the provincial jail on fire, so I joined the group and left,” Cadungog added.

He said he separated from the throng of escapees and went home by hiring a “habal-habal” (passenger motorcycle) to Barangay Tonganon, Carmen arriving there Thursday night. His family paid the driver P500.

He stayed with his family overnight then decided to surrender Friday.

Hiding from law for the rest of his life would be meaningless for Cadungog so he decided to yield peacefully.

“If I really intend to escape for good, I would not have surrendered,” he told Malcontento from his temporary cell at Carmen PNP lock-up cell. Provincial jail guards fetched him Friday and sent him back to the provincial facility in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City.

Hungry and fatigue forced fugitive Jomel Caguio who was facing illegal drug charges. Caguio was exhausted and weak when village officials found and arrested him Friday afternoon in Barangay Abra, Matalam.

Caguio told reporters he too feared he would be shot if he would not join the fleeing inmates. (PNA)
LAP/NYP/EOF

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