Jailbreak at the headquarters
The good news is that disciplinary action was swift: 15 members of the Quezon City Police District were relieved from their posts after six Chinese workers being held on charges of syndicated estafa escaped from detention at the QCPD headquarters at Camp Karingal last Monday night.
It was also good news that the escapees, who worked for a Philippine offshore gaming operator or POGO that reportedly had no permit from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., were recaptured near a creek by the QCPD the next day.
Still, the escape raises concern over the competence of those tasked to keep detainees behind bars. Suspicions have also been expressed on whether the Chinese were actually allowed to walk out of detention by the cops on duty who belonged to the District Mobile Force Battalion. Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo, QCPD police chief, ordered the 15 cops relieved and disarmed.
The six Chinese were among the 342 foreigners apprehended by the Bureau of Immigration in December last year in the city on charges of working in the country without the required permits and visas. The six were among 51 inmates covered by a commitment order from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, meaning they are supposed to be brought to a prison or jail facility to begin serving their sentence. How many of the other foreigners will also be able to escape?
To prevent further jailbreaks, the Philippine National Police should act swiftly in imposing sanctions on the 15 cops. Summary dismissal should be an option.