From the Office of the Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Cotabato jail attack, 04 Jan. 2017

Per initial report, around 100 inmates escaped and one jail officer, Jail Officer 1 Excell Ray Vicedo, died after more than a hundred armed men attacked the North Cotabato District Jail in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City, around 1:15am today.

A firefight lasted for two hours.

The North Cotabato District Jail has a population of 1,511. The inmates took the opportunity to escape through the back portion of the facility while the rest of the personnel were retaliating to hold their ground and to protect other inmates.

Ongoing clearing operations by the Special Action Force (SAF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) together with the BJMP Special Tactics and Response (STAR) Team within the jail vicinity and the surrounding area are currently underway.

Manhunt operations on the escapees are ongoing. Fourteen were recaptured. Of the 14, two (2) surrendered and six (6) died during the operations, as of 1:55PM.

All BJMP units in Region 12 and nearby provinces remain on heightened alert.