BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN/ ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Region 6 is offering a P50,000 reward for information leading to the recapture of the five high-profile inmates, who escaped from the Negros Occidental District Jail in Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City, Negros Occidental early morning yesterday.
The five escapees, tagged as high-profile inmates by the BJMP, were identified as Francisco Epogon, brothers Marvin and Danilo Celeste, Alejandro Montoya, and Daniel Tamon.
The jailbreak also led to the relief of Jail Supt. Pricel Arevalo, the NODJ warden. He was replaced by Jail Chief Inspector Abner Zamora, BJMP regional office spokesperson, Jail Chief Inspector Jairus Anthony Dojillo, said.
Dojillo said the escapees cut the 20mm steel bars of their detention cell, and used clothing materials, including blankets, as an improvised rope, in climbing the high fence, passing through a barbed wire located far from a closed-circuit television camera.
Danilo Celeste, according to BJMP records, is facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, attempted homicide, carnapping, and robbery, while his brother, Marvin, is facing illegal gun possession charges. Both are residents of Sitio Timawa, Brgy. Gawahon, Victorias City.
Montoya, of Brgy. Tisol, Victorias, is facing charges for violation of RA 10591, carnapping, robbery, attempted homicide, and acts of lasciviousness, while Tamon, of Brgy. Kumaliskis, Salvador Benedicto, is facing murder charges.
Epogon, of Brgy. Isio, Cauayan, is facing charges for robbery with violations against intimidation of person, and robbery with homicide. He used to be a leader of the Epogon group, the Cauayan police, who arrested him in June last year, said.
Epogon, who originally hailed from San Jose in Sipalay City, was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Rodney Magbanua for robbery in band.
Former Bacolod City Police Office director Henry Biñas tagged Epogon’s group in the robbery and killing of Belgian national Carl Nolens at Villa Angela Subdivision in Bacolod last year.
His group was also reportedly responsible for the break-ins at the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative, a rice mill in Bago, and the house of Dr. Carlitos Orola, brother of Bacolod Councilor Bart Orola.
Dojillo said investigation is underway on how the inmates managed to escape.
He also appealed to the escapees to surrender and asked their families to cooperate with authorities for their recapture.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office is assisting BJMP personnel in the province-wide manhunt for the fleeing escapees.
In case of any information, contact the nearest police station or jail unit, or text/call 09676509468 or 09778037959, the BJMP said.*