Former Philippine senator briefly taken hostage in prison rampage

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Philippine police have killed three ISIS-linked terrorists in custody. They witnessed a police officer being stabbed on Sunday and a former opposition senator temporarily held hostage in an unsuccessful escape from a high-security facility at police headquarters. Capital, police said.

General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the National Police Commissioner, said former Senator Leila de Lima was taken to hospital unharmed and taken to the hospital for a medical examination. Metro Manila.

One of the three prisoners stabbed a policeman who was delivering breakfast after dawn in an open area where prisoners could exercise outdoors. He later shot dead two prisoners, including Abu Sayyaf commander Idan Susukan.

Azrin said a third inmate ran to Delima’s cell and took her temporarily hostage, only to be shot dead by police special forces.

“She is safe. De Lima has already been taken hostage, so should the very critical situation be prolonged?”

Suscan, who has been accused of killing dozens of people, including foreign tourists, beheading hostages and other terrorist attacks, was arrested in southern Davao two years ago.

Two other detainees, Arnel Cabintoy and Feliciano Sulayao Jr., were suspected of being members of the Islamic extremist group Dawlah Islamiyah, which has been implicated in bombings and other deadly attacks in the south of the country. . They said he was arrested in 2019 in the metropolitan suburb of Quezon City, facing charges like Susukan, which are not eligible for bail, police officials said.

Many fighters affiliated with Abu Sayyaf, which the United States and the Philippines have blacklisted as a terrorist organization, and Daula Islamiyah are affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group.

The police officer who was stabbed with the makeshift knife is in serious condition at the hospital, Azrin said. Another inmate was injured during the rampage, police said.

Home Secretary Ben-Hur Avalos said the three prisoners killed staged a rampage trying to escape and were not specifically targeting Delima.

After the two terrorists were shot dead, a third inmate ran to De Lima’s cell, took her hostage, blindfolded her and pointed a blunt weapon at her chest. According to Avalos, the inmate requested a helicopter for him to escape during a brief negotiation, and then requested water, giving the police officer the chance to shoot him when he was handed the water.

De Lima told opposition senator Lisa Ontiveros, who had visited her, that she feared she would be killed during the incident. Will it die?” Hontivellos quoted what De Lima told her. “And something inside her told her to stay still.”

De Lima has been in custody since 2017 and is on trial on drug charges that she says were fabricated by former President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials to silence her criticism of his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs. It is A suspect has died, sparking an International Criminal Court investigation for possible crimes against humanity.

Leila de Lima
On February 24, 2017, in the city of Parañaque, southeast of Manila, Philippines, then-opposition Senator Leila de Lima arrived at a district court and was summoned for a brief personal appearance. (AP Photo)

She was acquitted in one of the three cases and at least two witnesses recanted their testimony against her, her aide said.

Duterte, who has pleaded guilty to de Lima, stepped down on June 30 after a six-year term and was succeeded by Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the former dictator who was ousted in the 1986 pro-democracy movement. is. Uprising.

Avalos visited De Lima and conveyed the president’s offer to transfer her to another detention center, but she declined the offer, Avalos said, to prevent such incidents from happening again. It added that measures would be taken.

In 2005, detained Abu Sayyaf Muslim fighters led the siege of a high-security prison in another Metro Manila police camp where special forces were based in another failed escape attempt. After the terrorists refused to surrender, police launched a massive attack with tear gas canisters and assault rifles, killing 22 inmates, including the Abu Sayyaf commander-in-chief.

In a court-granted interview with the Associated Press in March, De Lima said he had been held for years in an old facility, surrounded by a labyrinth of high concrete walls, with rusty barbed wire and sentry towers. Covered. Prison guards armed with assault rifles constantly roamed and kept watch.

“I’m a fighter,” the bespectacled former Human Rights Commission chairman and attorney general told AP journalists at the time. “It’s hard, but I can manage it.”

“I never lose hope,” said De Lima, 63.

De Lima’s years of detention have sparked calls for her immediate release from the European Union parliament, some US lawmakers, UN human rights experts, and international monitoring bodies.

Jim Gomez

Associated Press