PNP chief admits lapses in handling detainees after Leila De Lima hostage
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin admitted Tuesday that there may have been some lapses in the police’s handling of detainees after former Senator Leila de Lima was held hostage inside the Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
Azurin made the pronouncement following questions on how the three alleged Abu Sayyaf members were able to obtain a sharp object that was used to stab a police officer and take de Lima hostage.
“There must really be a lapse on the part of our PNP, guarding po y’ung mga detainees po natin (in guarding our detainees),” he said over ABS-CBN News Channel.
Azurin added that the investigator is still determining how the suspects got hold of the deadly weapon.
“Definitely nga po, ito po ay naipasok po, inaalam nga po natin kung paano naipasok ang metal objects po na mga ‘yan dahil talagang hindi naman po allowed ‘yan na ipasok. That’s part of the investigation,” he also said.
(Definitely, the object was sneaked and we are determining how they managed to bring in those metal objects since it’s really not allowed. That’s part of the investigation.)
The PNP chief said he had ordered tighter security to ensure that no detainees would have access to such objects.
Early Sunday’s hostage-taking incident resulted in the death of the three alleged Abu Sayyaf members who were shot dead by responding police officers. De Lima survived without an injury.
Police Cpl. Roger Agustin was bringing breakfast to the detainees at around 6 a.m. on Sunday when one of them stabbed him repeatedly with a fork. Agustin, who suffered multiple stab wounds, has been critically wounded.
That inmate then opened the cell of two others as they tried to escape, not knowing there was a sniper above.
Two of the inmates, Arnel Cabintoy and Idang Susukan, were shot when they refused to yield while the third prisoner, Feliciano Sulayao Jr., ran to De Lima’s cell and held her hostage.
READ: De Lima says she’s safe, apart from knife mark; asks for prayers for injured cop
De Lima had been detained at the PNP Custodial Center since February 24, 2017, for drug-related charges which her she repeatedly denied and described as “trumped up.”
READ: Hostaged De Lima unhurt; Marcos to check on her
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