De Lima wants probe on snatching of Chinese inmates

Posted at 02/22/13 5:42 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday ordered an investigation into the snatching and escape of three Chinese drug suspects from a jail in Trece Martires, Cavite last Wednesday.

De Lima also directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine the possible liabilities of the jail guards of Chinese drug lords Li Tian Hua, Wang Li Na, and Li Lan Yan alias Jackson Dy.

The Chinese inmates were taken by some 20 heavily armed men while being escorted by jail guards to the Trece Martires Regional Trial Court (RTC).

De Lima said she would meet with NBI officials and Chief Supt. Federico Laciste, deputy director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) South Luzon, to discuss the probe.

"The DOJ and NBI will probe that. I have set a meeting with Gen. Laciste and NBI on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 2 pm," she told reporters Friday.

Laciste earlier said a report on the planned abduction of the three drug suspects was submitted to the DOJ in 2011.

He said he submitted a letter to DOJ in August 2011 to tip the agency regarding the alleged efforts to free the three from the Cavite provincial jail.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which has supervision over the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), has already started its investigation.

The three Chinese were convicted of drug charges by a Parañaque City Regional Trial Court on April 29, 2009. They were standing trial in a separate drug case in Cavite and were on their way to a hearing when they were snatched.