Sta. Barbara jailbreak: Top cop may face admin raps

ILOILO – Administrative charges might be waiting for the chief of the Sta. Barbara police station and three of his personnel following the escape of three inmates from the town’s lockup facility on Friday.

Municipal police chief Captain Jose Rey Pabalan, Staff Sergeant Dandy Jinon (desk officer), and station guards Patrolwoman Cathlen Palmes and Corporal Lito Casama are now under investigation.

Iloilo police provincial director Colonel Marlon told Panay News that administrative charges would be slapped against them should the investigation find they committed negligence when the inmates broke out of prison around 3 a.m. on April 12.

Jinon, Palmes and Casama were the police on duty at the time of the escape. Pabalan was included in the probe over his “command responsibility,” said Tayaba.

Pabalan said it took three hours for his personnel to notice that inmates Bhrix Sarin, Reniel Sellarico and Mark Arca were missing.

Investigation showed that Sarin – a theft suspect from Negros Occidental – was the brains behind the prison break.

He picked the padlock of the custodial facility using a wire, the investigation added. He then woke up Sellarico (a rape suspect and resident of Barangay Talanghauan, Sta. Barbara) and Arca (a murder suspect and resident of Barangay Bagumbayan, Sta. Barbara).

Sellarico and Arca were arrested last month. They surrendered to the police around 5 a.m. on Saturday.

Now detained, Arca and Sellarico told cops that they used the right door of the police station to flee. They added that Sarin convinced them to go with him.

Pabalan said the escapees walked to Arca’s house and had their breakfast there.

“Arca and Sellarico decided to surrender but Sarin refused to go with them,” he added.

A manhunt was launched against Sarin. All seaports which have trips to Negros Occidental were alerted should he decide to come to his hometown./PN


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