By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine Consulate in Manado has finally located the Filipino inmate who was earlier reported missing following a mass jailbreak at a prison in Palu, Indonesia where he was serving his sentence.
It turned out that the inmate has been staying with a friend near a village in Palu since the jailbreak was reported, and is “safe and in good condition.”
In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Consul General Oscar Orcine said the inmate temporarily took sheter in a friend’s place near Pitogo Village in Palu since leaving prison following the September 28 earthquake that rocked Central Sulawesi.
Orcine said the Filipino inmate, who is serving a 14-year jail term could not be immediately contacted due to cellular signal lost and cut off electricity supply.
When the contact was established, the Filipino informed the consulate that he was allowed by the warden of the Lapas Penitentiary to temporarily seek refuge at his friend’s place after the prison wall collapsed as a result of the magnitude 7.5 quake that rocked the island.
Other than being tired, lacking sleep and running out of food supplies, the Filipino inmate is otherwise fine, Orcine said.
Consular officials asked their contacts in the area to provide the Filipino national with food and water.
The inmate assured that he intends to return to the penitentiary and report to the warden to complete his sentence so as not to complicate matters.
Orcine said the Filipino inmate, a native of Sulu, is the longest serving detainee at Lapas, having been in prison for seven years.
He has reportedly gained the trust of prison officials who in turn, gave him the task to help manage 800 inmates in the facility.
According to Orcine, no less than the jail warden had actually recommended the Filipino convict for parole and that they are now working to facilitate this.
Meanwhile, the only Filipino national living near Mount Soputan, an active volcano in north Sulawesi, Indonesia, is safe with his family.
The Philippine Consulate in Manado made this confirmation following the reported series of tremors that triggered volcanic activity in the area.
Orcine said the lone Filipino in that area was a retired employee of the consulate and now married to a local.