DFA Locates Missing Filipino Inmate

04 October 2018 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has located the Filipino inmate who was earlier reported missing following a mass jailbreak from the earthquake-damaged prison in Palu, Indonesia, where he was serving his sentence.

In its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano, the Philippine Consulate General in Manado said it was able to contact the inmate and that he is safe and in good condition.

Consul General Oscar Orcine said the inmate has been staying with a friend near Pitogo Village in Palu since leaving prison following the 28 September earthquake that struck Central Sulawesi.

Consul General Orcine said the Filipino informed him that he had permission from the warden of the Lapas Penitentiary to seek refuge at his friend’s place after the prison wall collapsed due to the earthquake.

The inmate, who is serving a 14-year sentence for illegal drug possession, said he could not be immediately contacted because cellular signal was lost and his mobile phone battery ran out.

Consul General Orcine said that other than being tired and lacking sleep, the inmate, a native of Sulu, is otherwise fine. He, however, said he has limited stock of food and water.

He also assured the Consul General he will be returning to the penitentiary and report to the warden as he wants to complete his sentence and not complicate matters for himself for failing to return.

Consul General Orcine said the Filipino is the longest serving detainee at Lapas, having been in prison for seven years. He said he enjoys the trust of prison officials who had tasked him to help manage 800 inmates there.

The Consul General said the warden had actually recommended the Filipino convict for parole and that the Consulate General is helping facilitate this.

Consul General Orcine said he had asked local contacts to provide the Filipino inmate with food and water. END