5 minors charged with crimes escape from North Cotabato facility
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato — At least five children charged with crimes escaped Wednesday evening from the Prison Without Walls near the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Barangay Amas here.
Superintendent Peter Bonggat Jr., chief of the North Cotabato District Jail, clarified that the escapees, classified as children in conflict with the law, were not under their jurisdiction but that the facility where the children were being held stood near the female jail facility.
Bonggat said the CICL facility has been under the supervision of the North Cotabato provincial government.
“The provincial guards are responsible for securing the area despite being adjacent to our women inmates’ cells,” Bonggat said.
Bonggat said the escapees bolted their cell by destroying the iron bars of the window. The escape was discovered at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
No details were provided on the specific ages of the minors, the crimes the minors were accused of, and the status of their cases.
Under the country’s Juvenile Justice Law, children accused of crimes are detained at social welfare centers run by the government and not in regular jails. Depending on the gravity of the offenses, minors tagged in crimes undergo a rehabilitation process. Youth offenders 15 years old and younger are exempt from criminal liability. Youth offenders older than 15 years but younger than 18 years may be exempt from criminal liability based on the determination of the minors’ capacity for discernment. SFM/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.