Jail officer hurt as armed men raid Samar jail
TACLOBAN City, Philippines—A jail officer was seriously wounded when a group of armed men, allegedly members of the New People’s Army, raided the Catbalogan city jail on Wednesday night.
Jail Officer 2 Roberto Lim, 40, was hit in the back, left shoulder and the lower part of his abdomen after the armed men fired their guns at different directions while leaving the facility in Barangay (village) Lagundi, two kilometers away from Catbalogan proper.
The raid was over in 10 minutes.
About 25 armed men barged into the jail facility at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, said Vic Lim, elder brother of the jail officer.
They ordered the five jail guards on duty to drop to the floor and seized their firearms, two laptop computers and P10,000 in cash.
“After that, they forcibly opened the prison cell and ordered all the prisoners to escape. However, none of the prisoners followed their order based on the account of my brother,” said Vic on Thursday.
His brother did not say how many prisoners the facility had at that time, Vic added.
As the armed men were about to leave the facility, they fired their firearms with some of the bullets ricocheting and hitting Roberto, who was about to stand up, according to Vic.
Roberto was first taken to the Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City by fellow jail guards. He was later transferred to the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban City, 110 kilometers away from Catbalogan, around 1:20 a.m. Thursday.
Roberto declined to be interviewed about the incident.
Superintendent Elizar Egloso, regional police information officer, said that based on their investigation, the armed men took a 9-mm pistol, a .45-cal. pistol, a .38-cal. revolver, two laptop computers and P10,000 before withdrawing toward Barangay (village) Piña, also in Catbalogan.
He said the armed men announced that they were NPA rebels when they entered the premises of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology office.
One of the armed men was identified as Gaben alias “Manok,” said to be a former inmate at the jail facility.
Colonel Niceforo Diaz, information officer of the 8th Infantry Division, also based in Catbalogan, said they conducted manhunt operations against the armed group, allegedly headed by Bernabe Ligay, alias Gagoy.
The armed men were said to be members of the NPA Arnulfo Ortiz Command which operates in the province.
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