Rules vs Islam prayer tagged jailbreak reason - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:07:00 01/20/2011
Filed Under: Religion & Belief, Conflicts (general), Prison, Police
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—At least 16 inmates bolted this city’s jail on Thursday dawn after they were allegedly prohibited from performing an Islamic prayer ritual.
One of the inmates was recaptured. He told reporters that detainees in cell No. 13 have been protesting a prohibition allegedly issued by jail authorities against “sambayang,” or Islamic community prayers that are performed every Friday.
The sambayang is a prayer ritual that Muslims perform facing the east.
A recaptured inmate, Darwin Herbias, said his cell mates have been protesting a prohibition by jail authorities against the sambayang.
Inspector Buenaventura Pedrita, acting city warden, declined to issue a statement on the allegations or the escape.
Herbias said after careful planning, he and the other escapees sawed off the iron grills of their cell and fashioned ropes out of their blankets.
He said they used their improvised ropes to lower themselves from their cell window, swim in the river behind the jail and flee at about 1 a.m.
Herbias, who faces robbery charges, said he was not among those who planned the escape but joined it just the same.
Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. said 15 inmates—some of whom face murder and robbery cases—remained at large.
Guiani said allegations made by inmates about being prevented to perform their prayer ritual are now being investigated. Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao